Saruni and Koech named C-USA track athletes of the week

Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

UTEP track and field landed two Conference USA weekly honors with Male Track Athlete of the Week Michael Saruni and Female Athlete of the Week Lilian Koech, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Saruni placed first in the 800m at the Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational with a school record time of 1:45.62 on Jan. 13, in Nashville, Tenn. The Kenya native is the first collegiate athlete to run under 1:46.0 since Dirk Heinze of Arkansas did it in 2001, putting Saruni fifth overall on the NCAA All-Time Best list.

The sophomore’s time set a facility record for the Commodore Invitational and a new school record previously held by former teammate Emmanuel Korir (1:46.50). His time ranks No. 1 in the nation.

Koech finished first in the mile run with a 4:45.62 over the weekend. The senior ranks eighth nationally and first overall in C-USA. Her time ranks as the sixth fastest time in school history.

Both student-athletes receive their first weekly honor of the season.

The Miners will return to action on Friday Jan. 19 at the New Mexico Cherry and Silver in Albuquerque, N.M.