UTEP’s Roosa Yloenen qualifies for NCAA Track & Field Championships

UTEP

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – UTEP’s Roosa Yloenen advanced to nationals in the women’s javelin on day two at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminaries on Thursday afternoon at E.B. Cushing Stadium.

Yloenen, a product of Hankasalmi, Finland, is the first UTEP female javelin thrower in over 10 years to advance.

“The ladies opened up their day at NCAA first round competition with Roosa qualifying to the NCAA Outdoor Championships’ final site in the women’s javelin throw,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “It’s not at all easy at this level to get a best performance out in a pressure situation and Roosa definitely kept everyone in suspense until her last attempt.”

The sophomore, who hadn’t competed in almost two years prior to the start of the 2021 outdoor season and after last season was canceled due to COVID, finished in fifth place with a 53.55m (175-8) mark on her last throw. Yloenen will compete at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships in at the newly renovated Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on June 9-12. Her career best is 53.89 (176-10), launched at the Desert Heat Classic on May 1.

Anna Wessman was the last Miner to advance to nationals when she threw at Hayward Field in June 2010.

Maribel Caicedo (100m hurdles) and Denae McFarlane (100m dash) also competed on day two, but came up short in their respective events. Caicedo, who is coming off an injury, competed for the first time since running the 4x100m relay at the Don Kirby Tailwind Open on April 22.

“We were happy to see Maribel back in action again for the first time since her mid-April injury in the 100 hurdles,” Laaksonen said. “Our true freshman 100-meter runner, Denae, gained plenty of experience and confidence from today’s race for the future. Happy for these ladies for the effort and leaving it all there today!”

Yloenen will join UTEP men’s pole vaulter Paulo Benavides, who advanced to Eugene on Wednesday.

FRIDAY’S EVENTS

Ishmel Williams will start the day for the Miners in the high jump at noon MT. The freshman will start in position 6 in the first flight.

Aleks Hristov will throw for the Miners in the men’s discus at 12:30 p.m. MT. The freshman will compete in the second flight. He threw a personal-best 56.54m (185-6) mark at the Conference USA Championships a few weeks ago.

Shakeem Smith will jump the 110m hurdles quarterfinals at 5:45 p.m. MT, and will run in heat 2 (lane 9). The senior will also leap at 6:55 p.m. MT in the 400 m hurdles in heat 1 (lane 9). Twelve will advance to Eugene in each event. There will be three heats in which the top three from each will advance to nationals plus the next three best times.

Sean Bailey will bolt in the 400m dash quarterfinals at 6:20 p.m. MT. The senior will run in heat 2 (lane 6). Twelve will advance to Eugene. There will be three heats in which the top three from each will advance to nationals plus the next three best times.

Jevaughn Powell will conclude the day in the 200m dash at 7:10 p.m. MT. The freshman will run in heat 2 (lane 2). There will be three heats in which the top three from each will advance to nationals plus the next three best times.

The men’s 4x400m relay would cap the day at 8:15 p.m. MT. Joshua Hill, Powell, Hewitt and Bailey will compete in the relay race for the Miners.

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