Rotich aims to defend his NCAA title
El Paso, TX — Seven Miners from the UTEP track and field team will compete at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Ore., from June 11-14 at Hayward Field.
Kicking off the week of action for the team will be the women’s 4x100m relay team in the semifinals on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. (MT).
The squad consisting of Anna-Kay James, Janice Jackson, Aiyanna Stiverne, and Florence Uwakwe earned an automatic spot to the national meet, taking second in the third heat in the quarterfinals at the NCAA West Preliminary Round. The quartet registered a season best of 44.53 and placed fifth overall. The last women’s 4x100m relay team to qualify for nationals was in 2008, which was comprised of Blessing Okagbare, Halimat Ismaila, Shalaiyah Sommerville and Quashanda Welch.
Jackson and James will return to the track on Thursday at 6:20 p.m. for the 100m hurdle semifinals.
Competing in her last collegiate meet Jackson holds the program’s second-fastest time in the 100m hurdles (12.98), recorded at the NCAA West Prelims. The effort ranks her seventh heading into the national championship.
In May, the All-American successfully defended her title in the 100m hurdles and led the 4x400m relay to a gold medal finish at the C-USA Championships.
Joining Jackson in the 100m hurdles at the national meet is newcomer James. The junior transfer boasted a career-best time of 13.40 in the 100m hurdles at the NCAA, ranking her 11th heading into the finals.
Representing the men’s team is two-time NCAA Champion Anthony Rotich.
TheAll-American tops the Division I qualifying list in the 3000-meter steeplechase and is No. 4 on the qualifying list in the 1500 meters. He also registered the NCAA West Prelims’ top time in the 3000-meter steeplechase with 8:38.80.
TheConference USA Champion garnered seven crowns this outdoor season includingtitles in the C-USA Championship steeplechase, 1500m and 5000m runs. He finished runner-up overall and first among collegians in the Payton Jordan Invitational steeplechase in a collegiate-leading 8:30.54 for the No. 23 time in the world in 2014.
A mainstay on the Bowerman Watchlist, Rotich is the only male from UTEP and the fourth from C-USA to appear on the Watchlist.
The Kenyan native will be looking to defend his steeplechase title as he makes his seventh NCAA appearance on Thursday at 6:35 in the semifinals.
Representing the Miners on the field will be Jallycia Pearson and Nickevea Wilson.
An El Paso native Pearson will be competing in the heptathlon. The multi-event athleteholds the top performance in program history with 5,576 points as part of agold-medal performance at the C-USA Championship.
The junior is the first in program to qualify in the heptathlon. She heads to the NCAA Championship ranked 10th. Pearson will start two full days of events on Thursday at 2 p.m. with the heptathlon’s 100m hurdles.
Making her third NCAA Championship appearance Wilson will be competing in the triple jump onFriday at 4:25 p.m. The Jamaican native ranks sixth in the nation with a career-best leap of 13.38m (43-10.75). The junior holds the fourth all-time jump in school history.
For live results please visit: http://results.flashresults.com/2014_Meets/outdoor/06-09-NCAA/ and follow along on twitter @UTEPTrack.