EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After helping the Franklin 4×100 meter relay team to a top-five finish at the Class 6A UIL State track meet, Franklin’s Julian Mars is moving on up.

Mars signed his letter of intent with UTEP on Monday, staying close to home to run for the Miners after a standout four-year career with the Cougars.

Mars ran the second leg of Franklin’s 4×100 meter team at state and also clocked in times under 11 seconds in the open 100 meters in 2023.

At UTEP, he’ll run the 4×400 meters for the first time in his life, but he’s looking forward to the challenge after years of working for an opportunity at the Division I level.

“It feels like I’ve done something worthy of the work I’ve put in. I wanted to stay home. It’s comfortable,” Mars said.

Mars is the eighth Franklin track and field athlete to sign with a Division I program during the 2022-23 school year.