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The Miners will have two more awards to hang on the All-American walls inside of Kidd Field when Risper Kimaiyo and Endurance Abinuwa return home from the 2011 NCAA Track and Field Championships.
The pair traveled to College Station, Texas, this weekend and added to the UTEP track and field legacy giving first-year head coach Mika Laaksonen his first two All-Americans as a head coach. The All-American honors will be official when announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Junior Endurance Abinuwa finished fourth in the women’s 400-meter race crossing the finish line at 53.06 in the second of two heats.
“This is a great accomplishment for Endurance,” Laaksonen said. “This is her first top finish at a national meet. She had the worst lane to run in section two. It is hard to break fast and get into position from that lane and she was trailing everybody else in the heat at the 200m mark. She stayed patient and finished strong in the last 100 meters to gain one position in her heat and probably two in the competition.
“Endurance works hard and takes care of her business on and off the track so it is wonderful to see student-athletes like her succeed at this level.”
Abinuwa scored five points with the fourth-place finish. Combined with Kimaiyo’s two points in the 5,000m, the pair finished with seven points for 28th place tied with Maryland.
The Miners will open outdoor competition on March 26th when they host the Springtime Invitational at Kidd Field.
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