The UTEP men’s track and field team have moved up to secure the No. 25 spot in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I team rankings.
The men’s team tallied a total of 79.50 points with the help of sophomore Anthony Rotich. The distance runner was the only Miner to compete this past weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays. Rotich dominated the field clocking in the second-fastest time (8:37.47) in the 3,000m steeplechase. The sophomore not only excels in one event, but he also is ranked fourth in the nation in the 5,000m with a time of 13:34.84. The Kenyan native doesn’t stop there as he holds the No. 30 spot in the national rankings in the 1,500m (3:44.08-altitude time).
The Miners have come out with some reinforcement this season on the field. Texas transfer Mark Jackson posted the sixth-best mark in the nation of 16.05m in the triple jump at the 2013 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. But Jackson has had some support by teammate Donovant Grant.
The senior has always been consistent, but this season the jumper has proven to be a threat. The jumper is ranked 26th in the nation in the long jump with a personal best of 7.53m set at the UTEP Invitational.
UTEP has also demonstrated to be a force in the javelin and hammer throw. Richard Olsson returned to the team after suffering a shoulder injury at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary Championships. The junior opened the season on a high note, notonly registering a personal best but also the ninth-best toss in the nation of 72.53m in the javelin.
In thehammer throw, Demetris Elia opened the season in stellar fashion recording a personal best in the hammer throw. The sophomore’s toss of 61.03m ranked him 49th nationally in the event.
Though he might only be a sophomore Elphas Maiyo has boosted the Miners distance team. The runner clocked in a time of 29:41.19 in the 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational, which earned him the No. 54 spot in the national rankings.
On thesprints side, Abiola Onakoya has dominated the track holding national rankings in three events for the Orange and Blue. The junior shined at the UTEP Invitational posting national times in the 400m (21st) and 200m (39th) of 46.22 and 20.83, respectively.
Onakoya also is a member of the 4x400m relay team that crossed the finish line with a season best time of 3:08.03 at the Texas Relays. The squad (Carnell Horn, Onakoya,Daniel Tarango and A-Shawni Mitchell) is currently ranked 23rd nationally.
Wrapping up the men’s team is the 4x100m relay team (Sven Zellner, Mark Jackson, Kristian Dillard and Anthony Wright) which had a difficult start, but came back to register a national time of 40.59 at the UTEP Invitational.
For a complete list of national rankings please visit, www.ustfccca.org .