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Anthony Rotich claimed two awards at the Conference USA Indoor Championships.
The sophomore was named the high point scorer of the meet as he competed in the mile, 3,000m, 5,000m and distance medley relay tallying a total of 36 points. He was also recognized as the performer of the Meet for his stellar performance in the 3,000m where he set the conference meet record and facility record.
“Anthony (Rotich) is a star and only a sophomore,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “We can’t wait to see where he can go as an athlete.”
Anthony Rotich took the track for the fourth time during the Conference Championship to compete in the 3,000m. The distance runner blew past the competition posting a conference meet record and a CrossPlex record with a time of 8:06.46. Rotich earned his second gold medal and his fourth overall medal at this weekends meet.
Elkana Rotich also ran the 3,000m and finished sixth overall with a season-best time of 8:24.53.
Kicking off the running events for the day was Anthony Rotich. The All-American took the track and sprinted to the finish line against the nations top mile runner Chris O’Hare. The sophomore finished the race second with a time of 4:16.57 earning his third medal at the C-USA Championships.
Teammate Elkana Rotich also competed in the mile and registered a time of 4:17.89 finishing the race in fourth place in a field that included 16 runners.
Following the men’s mile was the 400m, where Abiola Onakoya was competing against five Houston runners. The sophomore sprinter dashed out of the block and claimed the bronze medal with a time of 48.62.
Helping the Miners earn some points was Anthony Wright, who crossed the finish line sixth in the 60m dash with a time of 6.92.
The men’s 4x400m relay was the last event of the championships on Sunday night. The UTEP squad consisted of Carnell Horn, A-Shawni Mitchell, Daniel Tarango and Abiola Onakoya. The relay was close from beginning to end, but once Onakoya entered the final 200m, he sprinted out and led the team to a first place finish with a time of 3:14.02.
The men’s squad concluded the meet fourth overall with a total of 94 points.
“We aren’t happy about our men’s performance,” said Laaksonen. “Yesterday in the qualifying round, we didn’t get enough people to advance in the sprinting events, which decided the meet for us and unfortunately for Mark (Jackson) he suffered and injury and wasn’t able to compete today.”
Shocking the competition on the women’s side was Janice Jackson in the women’s 60m hurdles. The junior not only registered a new school record but also clocked in the fifth-fastest time in the nation. Jackson sprinted out of the block and posted a personal-best time of 8.17 earning the gold medal at the Championships.
On the field, Nickevea Wilson dominated the competition claiming gold with a personal best of 12.92m (42-04.75) in the triple jump. The mark earned her the No. 16 spot in the nation in the triple jump.
El Paso native Jallycia Pearson posted a bronze medal finish with a leap of 12.32m (40-05.00).
Yolanda Suggs took the track in the women’s 60m and 200m finals representing the Orange and Blue. The senior recorded two season-best times at the championships. Suggs first took the track in the 60m where she clocked in a time of 7.48 finishing fifth. The sprinter went on to compete in the 200m and posted a time of 24.24 claiming sixth place overall.
“Overall the women’s team competed very hard,” said Laaksonen. “On paper we were at the bottom, but they fought hard and I’m extremely proud of them.”
The women’s team finished the meet sixth overall with a total of 46 points.
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