EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP is sending two athletes to the NCAA Track and Field Championships that run June 8-11 in Eugene, Ore. One of those athletes is a javelin thrower that has been with the Miners for less than a year.
Arianne Morais, a native of Norway who transferred to UTEP last summer from the Florida Gators, qualified for Eugene by finishing 10th at the West Region Prelims last week.
Her best throw of 167 feet, five inches punched her first-ever ticket to the NCAA Championships. She’s had to overcome a few injuries recently and feels like she’s peaking at just the right time.
“I wouldn’t say that I expected it (to qualify for Eugene), but I wouldn’t say it was a surprise either,” said Morais. “I’m capable to throw further. I have a ways to go, I have some things to work on but I’m slowly but surely getting there.”
The gold medalist at the 2016 European U-18 championships, Morais will compete on Thursday in Eugene. On the men’s side, Jevaughn Powell will run the 400 meters on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Eugene this week, Suleiman Nyambui, a 15-time national champion at UTEP from 1978 to 1982, will receive the prestigious honor of being inducted into the inaugural Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame. The presentation will take place Monday night, June 6 starting at 8:30 p.m. MT/7:30 PT at the Hult Center for Performing Arts in Eugene, Ore., two days prior to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Nyambui, a mid-distance/distance runner, won all but one time he lined up for an NCAA final. Along the way he racked up four-straight wins in the impressively unlikely combination of the 10,000 meters and indoor mile. His overall title of 14 NCAA titles in track events is tied with University of Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, while Nyambui’s total of 15 NCAA titles ranks second behind Cheserek (17).
His 1980-81 academic year of racing also included his lone NCAA cross country title, matching the first distance collegiate triple crown registered by another Hall of Famer, Gerry Lindgren.
During his Triple Crown season (1980-81), Nyambui won the 1980 NCAA cross-country title (29:04.0), the 1981 NCAA indoor 2-mile title (4:01.85), and capped it with victories in the 1981 NCAA 5K (13:38.2) and 10K (28:34.23) titles.
He never lost a race at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, winning four consecutive races in the 10,000-meter from 1979 to 1982, plus three consecutive races in the 5000-meter from 1980 to 1982.
Suleiman, a native of Tanzania, was a dominant as his team.
The Miners won team titles all four years Nyambui was on campus and completed the rare Triple Crown three years in a row, having won NCAA team titles indoors and during the cross-country season (1979-80, 1980-1981, 1981-82). The only year that UTEP didn’t win the Triple Crown with Nyambui on its roster in 1979 when it lost by one point to Villanova.
Indoors, he also won seven titles and is a four-time mile champion (only Jim Ryun has as many as three).