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The Prospector

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The Prospector

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The Prospector

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Track and field ready for nationals

Samantha+Hall%2C+Rasmus+Maukonen%2C+Anthony+Rotich+and+Jallycia+Pearson+will+all+compete+at+the+NCAA+Outdoor+Championships.
Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics, Michaela Roman / The Prospector
Samantha Hall, Rasmus Maukonen, Anthony Rotich and Jallycia Pearson will all compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Four members of the UTEP track and field team will be in Eugene, Ore- gon from July 10-13 to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The Miners travel to Eugene with a few fresh faces in sophomore Samantha Hall and freshman Rasmus Muakonen, along with a couple of seniors, Jallycia Pearson and Anthony Rotich.

Rotich will be looking to close out his legendary collegiate career on a high note.

For Hall, who will be competing for a national championship in the discus throw, it will be her first time competing in nationals. She has improved week in and week out since the beginning of the season.

“It’s really exciting,” Hall said. ”Last year, I went to regionals and I didn’t do well, but I’m really happy that I made it this year.”

Fellow thrower Maukonen will also be competing for the first time at the national level. The Finland native has quickly become a fan favorite and a must-watch  because of his eccentric yell after he throws the javelin.

He is the 11th best in the nation and will look to improve on that ranking at the national tournament.

“I have dreamed that I can throw still over 75 (meters) and that’s my goal,” Maukonen said. “Hopefully the competitions are great and competition will be high level. I think if I can throw that 75, I can be top five.

At the NCAA West Preliminaries, Maukonen recorded a 67.89-meter throw.

Pearson is another Miner who will be looking to close out her career on a strong note.

She placed second in the heptathlon at the conference tournament and ranks 10th in an event, where the top eight receive All-American recognition.

At the conference tournament, held at UTEP’s Kidd Field, the senior tallied 5,576 points with her performance in each of the seven events that make up the heptathlon—100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin throw and 800 meters.

The Coronado High School alum’s conference tournament total flirted with the school record of 5,834 in the event. She has now set her sights on finishing with the school record as well as recognition as one of the nation’s best heptathletes.

“It’s really exciting,” Pearson said. “I’m really glad that I made it my senior year, as well as my junior year, so it’s really exciting to go to back to Oregon.”

Finally, Anthony Rotich, the UTEP athletic legend, will look to close out his illustrious career the way it began, as a national champion.

Rotich will go to Oregon with the task of defending his title of two-time national champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Throughout the season, Rotich has won the steeplechase every time he has run it with the exception of one race, where he was trying to pace a fellow Miner.

He is the Conference USA champion in the event and at the regional championships, the native of Kenya came in first with a time of 8:42.90.

“I felt really good in that race because I was just trying to do what my coach told me: to relax in the race,” Rotich said. “This week, I’m just trying to relax a little bit and gain everything because in conference I did three races and that was a lot.”

Rotich, who is already among the elite in UTEP track and field history, can only add to his tremendous legacy wearing the orange and blue, but will be running in Eugene with much more than just himself in mind.

“Right now, I can just say thank you to my coaches, my training men and the entire UTEP fraternity that have been there for us even when we did not run really fast,” Rotich said. ”They have always been there, so I just say thank you to the UTEP family. They are cool people.”

Juan Carlos Navarrete can be reached at the [email protected].

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Track and field ready for nationals