Miners Set to Open Outdoor Season at Kidd Field
El Paso, TX — The UTEP track and field team is set to open the outdoor season at home on Saturday with the annual UTEP Springtime meet at Kidd Field.
The field events will begin at 10 a.m. (MT) with the women’s hammer throw and the running events are scheduled to start at 2 p.m. with the women’s 4x100m relay.
The Miners will be facing some tough opponents including nationally ranked No. 13 University of Maryland women’s team, NM State, South Plains Community College, Western Texas College, New Mexico Junior College, Wayland Baptist University and Odessa Community College.
Highlighting the men’s team is senior captain Abiola Onakoya. The sprinter ended the 2013 season with two gold medal finishes and one silver at the C-USA Championship. He also received C-USA Athlete of the Week honors for his stellar performance at the 2013 UTEP Invitational, where he clocked in the ninth-fastest time in the nation of 46.22 in the 400m and the 18th-fastest in the 200m with a mark of 20.83. Onakoya went on to make his first appearance in the NCAA outdoor championship. The Nigerian native will be looking to top himself this season as he takes the track for the 400m dash on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
Rounding out the sprints for UTEP are three freshmen. In their outdoor season debut Carlos Cavazos, Dallas Hart, and Zachary Newman will compete in the 200m dash at 5:15 p.m.
Leading the Miners in the hurdles is sophomore Sven Zellner. The hurdler finished the indoor season with a bronze medal finish at the C-USA Championship. Zellner will compete in the 110m hurdles at 2:45 p.m.
El Paso native Tommy McCoy and junior college transfer Roberto Camacho will add strength to the hurdles as they compete in the 400m hurdles for the first time in the Orange and Blue at 4:45 p.m.
On the distance side, UTEP is represented by El Paso native Daniel Tarango, Cosmas Boit, and Elphas Maiyo.
Last season, Tarango earned a silver medal with a time of 1:51.69 in the 800m at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. The sophomore also earned first place and his first C-USA Athlete of the Week honors with a personal-best performance of 1:51.58 in the 800m at the Texas Tech Open.
In his first indoor season with the Orange and Blue, Boit took second in the 3,000m run at the C-USA Championships with a time of 8:18.60. The freshman also garnered his first C-USA Athlete of the Week honors after posting two gold medal finishes at the Texas A&M Invitational. Boit ran the opening leg on the Miners’ squad that won the distance medley with a time of 9:37.31, which clocks in as the third-fastest time in school history. The distance runner is set to compete in the 1,500m run at 2:20 p.m. and the 800m run at 4:15 p.m.
Also competing in the 1,500m run, Maiyo looks to continue his success from last year after taking first in the 3,000m run with a time of 8:59.13 at the 2013 UTEP Springtime.
One the women’s side, Florence Uwakwe continues to excel as one of the top sprinters on the track. The freshman made a statement in the 400m dash as she took third at the C-USA Indoor Championships with a time of 54.97 securing C-USA Freshman of the Meet honors. Uwakwe will kick off her outdoor season in the 400m dash at 3 p.m.
Also highlighting UTEP’s newcomers is Anna-Kay James. Last season, the transfer finished second in the 100m hurdles at the SLU Invitational, recording a qualifying time of 14.01 for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships. The Jamaican native also took gold in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.55 at the MIAA Conference Championship. James will be competing in the Orange and Blue in the 100m hurdles at 2:35 p.m.
Veteran Jallycia Pearson will also open the outdoor season with the 100m hurdles. Last outdoor season, the all-around athlete went on to place fourth overall in the heptathlon at the C-USA Championships, as she took third in both the 100m hurdles and 200m. Pearson will also compete in the javelin throw at 5:14 p.m. (MT).
Both squads will conclude the competition with the 4x400m relay projected to start at around 6:10 p.m. (MT).
Live results will be available on Saturday at http://www.spato.us/cresults/2014/utepspring/.