UTEP, NMSU Track excel at Springtime Invitational
El Paso, TX — The UTEP track and field team concluded their first meet of the outdoor season at the UTEP Springtime meet at Kidd Field.
The newcomers dominated the day of action as they proved they can compete with the veterans and are a threat to be reckoned with this season.
Kicking off the meet on the women’s side was Anna-Kay James, Jallycia Pearson, and Greta Kerekes in the 100m hurdles. The three hurdlers had an exciting first meet, taking a one-two-three finish. James came in first with a personal best time of 13.36, ranking her first in the nation in the event. Pearson followed in second place with her personal best time of 13.59 earning her the No. 6 spot in the national rankings. Kerekes finished third with 13.78, placing her at the No. 12 spot nationally.
Also proving to be a threat on the track were freshmen Florence Uwakwe and Aiyanna Stiverne as they captured gold and bronze medal finishes in the 400m dash. In her outdoor debut, Uwakwe registered the fastest time in the nation with a personal best time of 52.79. Stiverne also posted a personal best with a finish of 55.59.
Leading the distance squad were seniors Sandra Walker and Jackline Ekai as they both claimed bronze in the 1500m and 800m respectfully. Walker recorded a personal best time of 4:59.87 while Ekai matched her personal best of 2:20.63.
On the field, the Miners finished first and second in the triple jump as El Paso native Monica Lopez claimed the event with a leap of 11.97m (39-03.25). Teammate Rahelys Barsey took second place with a jump of 11.91m (39-01.00). Also competing in the event was Aeisha McDavid, who finished fourth with a mark of 11.59m (38-00.25).
Thrower Samantha Hall took third in the women’s discus with a mark of 48.45m (158-11). Teammate Aisha Lee also garnered a bronze finish for the Miners with a throw 44.21m (145-00) in the hammer throw.
Highlighting the men’s team was Cosmas Boit. The distance runner had a great meet obtaining two first place finishes in the 1500m and 800m. In the 1500m run, the freshman registered a time of 3:51.18 earning the 19th spot in the national rankings. In the 800m, Boit posted a mark of 1:52.48 ranking him 18th nationally.
Senior Elkana Rotich was the third runner to cross the finish line in the 1500m run with a time of 4:00.82.
Continuing the success for the distance squad was Evans Kiprono as he claimed his first gold medal of his career. The freshman came in first in the men’s 5,000m run with a mark of 15:59.71.
UTEP has some reinforcement this season in the hurdles with three Miners competing in the Orange and Blue. Sven Zellner led the men in the 110m hurdles as registered a time of 14:14 finishing in first place.
Junior transfer Roberto Camacho took second in the 400m hurdles with a time of 51.95 while El Paso native Tommy McCoy placed fifth in the event with a finish of 54.77.
The Miners extended their success into the first relay of the day as underclassmen Sven Zellner, James Bias, Carlos Cavazos and Zachary Newman earned third place in the 4x100m relay with a time of 41.33.
On the field, Carlos Hernandez represented UTEP in the men’s high jump. The junior captured third with a mark of 2.10m (6-10.75).
Concluding the field events for the Miners was Marvin Emetom, who recorded a mark of 12.77m (41-10.75) in the men’s shot put taking silver in the event.
Both squads ended the meet with the 4x400m relay.
The women’s relay consisting of Janice Jackson, Aiyanna Stiverne, Jallycia Pearson, and Florence Uwakwe garnered second place with a time of 3:43.47.
Carnell Horn, Abiola Onakoya, James Bias, and A-Shawni Mitchell placed third in the men’s 4x400m relay with a time of 3:11.73.
The Miners will be competing next week at the Texas Relays.
The New Mexico State track and field team wrapped its first competition of the outdoor season at the UTEP Springtime in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, March 22.
The day was highlighted by the performance of junior Jenna Banegas, who competed in the 100 and 200-meter dash as well as the 4x100-meter relay. In the 100-meter dash, Banegas finished fourth with a time of 11.76, which was a personal best for her. She also set her personal best in the 200-meter dash where she finished eighth with a time
Banegas was joined by senior Alishia Perkins, junior Kendra Walker and freshman Paige Patterson for the relay where they finished second with a time of 46.23.
“Jenna (Banegas) did a real good job today,” said head coach Orin Richburg. “She had two personal bests and really just ran well. It was good to start putting together the relay teams as well.”
In the 100-meter dash, Perkins finished seventh with a time of 11.89. She led the Aggies and finished sixth overall in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.24. Perkins also competed in the 4x400-meter relay with Patterson, senior Brianna Cromartie and freshman Shaniece Prevot, where the team finished with a time of 3:52.84, which was good for fourth.
Cromartie, who missed the majority of the indoor season due to an injury, finished fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.88. Patterson finished right behind her in sixth with a time of 56.77.
Junior Diana Hawk also had a strong showing as she finished first in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:40.84. Junior Megan McNally finished fourth with a time of 5:00.10 and senior Sarabel Bojorquez finished fifth with a time of 5:02.56.
Senior Natalie Gomez continued the strong performances in the distance events as she finished first in the 5000-meter run with a time of 21:05.37.
Freshman Savannah Coleman led the Aggies and finished fifth overall in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:06.18. Sophomore Nicole Mortensen also competed in the 400-meter hurdles.
Junior Nicolette Serrao had a strong showing in the javelin throw where she finished second with a distance of 40.51m (132-11). She was followed by junior Tiffany Gerber, who finished fifth with a distance of 39.69m (130-02).
In the pole vault, junior Taylor Black finished third with a height of 3.61m (11-10.0). She was joined by sophomore Marissa Gonzales, who finished with a height of 3.31m (10-10.25), which was good for fifth.
“Overall we had a good opening meet,” Richburg said. “It was good to get Brianna
(Cromartie) back out there. Hawk and Perkins did well for us today as well. The freshmen did a good job and we had a couple of breakthroughs from our team, so that was good to see. We have a couple of areas where we can improve but we did good today.”
The Aggies will be back in action on March 27, when they compete at the Bobcat Invitational at San Marcos, Texas.