Four UTEP Track and Field members earn regional awards

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Four UTEP Track and Field members earn regional awards

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Mike Flores, Sports Editor

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UTEP’s standout freshman Emmanuel Korir, was named male Mountain Region Track Athlete of the Year, while Tobi Amusan took home the female Mountain Region Track Athlete of the Year. Both the men’s and women’s assistant coaches for UTEP, Paul Ereng and Lacena Golding-Clarke were also named Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year. The awards were announced by the USTFCCA (U.S Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association).

Korir showed his talents from day one. He ran the second fastest 800-meter in collegiate outdoor history (1:43.73) as well as a sub-45 in the 400-meter race and a sub-1:45 in the 800-meter race, making him one of only three athletes in the world to have accomplished such feats.

In his first season with the Miners, Korir already holds two school records—one for his time in the 400-meter race (44.53) this year, and the other in the 800-meter run (1:43.73).

However, Korir hass yet to complete his freshman outing. Due to his time of 1:45.88 at the West Region Preliminaries, Korir qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon-where he will perform June 6, in the 800-meter race semifinal starting at 7:45 p.m. MT on ESPN2.

On the other hand, UTEP’s Female Athlete of the Year, Tobi Amusan, had herself a sophomore season to remember. Amusan set an NCAA Division 1 West Prelimanaries record in the 100-meter hurdles as she clocked in with a time of 12.57, a performance that doubled as the sixth-fastest time in the world in the event this season.

The Nigerian-native scored a team-high 24.5 points of the 153 total points for the Miners squad. With that, UTEP brought home the program’s first-ever outdoor conference title.

Amusan is aiming to capture the crown in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships, after she finished as the runner-up in the same event a year ago. Amusan’s semifinal event is set to start at 6:32 p.m. on ESPN2.

Coach Ereng is in his 15th year with the Miners. He helped the duo, Korir and Michael Saruni reach heights in the 800-meter that couldn’t be done without his coaching. Under Ereng, Korir and Saruni finished in times of 1:43.73 and 1:45.82 this season. Korir ran the second-fastest time in the 400-meter race this year (44.53), and he finished with a 43.34 4×40-meter relay split—a time that landed Korir on The Bowerman watch list (his third on the year).

Ereng’s athletes have won three Conference USA titles this season.

Golding-Clarke, in her sixth year with the program, helped Amusan come out victorious in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division 1 West Preliminaries. Under Golding-Clarke’s coaching, the Miners were able to secure the lone conference title in the school’s history books.

Both Ereng and Golding-Clarke guided UTEP to send nine student-athletes to compete at the 2017 NCAA Championships. Seven individuals and the men’s 4×400-meter relay team are the nine athletes that will represent the Orange and Blue this week at Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Oregon from June 7 to June 10.

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