The Prospector

Athletes to watch for at the C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

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UTEP women’s track hopes to repeat last year’s title win in this year’s C-USA championships.

UTEP women’s track hopes to repeat last year’s title win in this year’s C-USA championships.

File photo

File photo

UTEP women’s track hopes to repeat last year’s title win in this year’s C-USA championships.

Isaiah Ramirez, Contributor

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The UTEP men’s and women’s track and field teams are set to compete at the Conference USA’s outdoor championships in Houston from May 10 through May 13. Both teams will look to qualify for the NCAA preliminary rounds in Sacramento, California, at the all-day event taking place May 24, while the women’s team is looking to repeat as the C-USA outdoor champions.

Looking ahead toward Houston, there are several athletes to watch with the Miners.

WATCHLIST:

Michael Saruni—UTEP’s solidified star and recognized across the globe, sophomore Saruni will look to repeat as the 800-meter Conference USA champion and head back to the NCAA preliminaries, where last year Saurni finished in fifth place in the west region in the 800-m race.

Saruni, who is a national championship winner in the 800-m in the race in the indoor event, was also recently named to the Bowerman Mid-Outdoor Watch List—a list compiled of the top-10 track and field athletes in the country.    

Jonah Koech—The standout junior from Eldoret, Kenya, captured a gold medal at the C-USA outdoor event last year with a time of 3:44:64 in the 1,500-m race, going on to finish 13th at the NCAA West Region Championships. At the Texas Team Invitational earlier this season, Koech finished first in the 800-m race, finishing with a time of 1:50.80. In 2016, Koech received a gold medal in the 800-m race and hopes to do the same this year in Houston.

Antony Kosegi—Kosegi hopes to go one step further than his performance last year at the outdoor in order to capture an illustrious gold medal. Last year at the event, he finished second with the silver medal in the 5,000-m and 10,000-m race at the C-USA championships. In 2015, Kosegi placed third in the 10,000-m run at the C-USA championships with a time of 32:44:08 and finished in fifth place in the 5,000-m run with a time of 14:59:04. Earlier this year, the junior won the gold medal in the 5,000-m race at the Texas Team Invitational with a time of 15:12.63. Kosegi is looking to carry his earlier season success into the conference meet next week.

Lilian Koech—At last year’s event as a sophomore, Koech won two silver medals in the 800-m and 1,500-m race, becoming a contributing factor in the Miners’ first conference outdoor championship in program history. In 2015, Koech was named the C-USA Outdoor Co-Performer of the meet and named to the All C-USA second team in the 800-m and 1,500-m race. At the outdoor event in the same year, she took home the gold in the 1,500-m with a time of 4:42.70 and in the 5,000-m with a time of 16:58.11. Koech hopes to find the success she did in 2015 at this year’s conference meet in Houston.

Lucia Mokrasova—A senior from Trencin, Slovakia, Mokrasova is looking to close out her UTEP career with a gold medal. Last season, the multi-event fielder ranked 12th nationally in the heptathlon with 5,671 points registered at the Texas Relays, she also set the school record in the heptathlon with that mark. In 2016, Mokrasova captured a silver medal in the heptathlon at the outdoor C-USA championships and was named to the All C-USA first team in the pentathlon and to the All C-USA second team in the heptathlon. The standout senior also was named as an Honorable Mention All-American at the NCAA Championships at the 2017 outdoor championships, with an impressive 5,172 points in the heptathlon.

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