Athletes to watch: UTEP track and tennis


Isaiah Ramirez, Sports Editor

As the spring semester kicks off at UTEP there are certain athletes looking to leave an impact on their respective seasons. Here are some athletes to watch in UTEP Women’s Track & Field and UTEP Women’s Tennis.

UTEP Women’s Track and Field

 Lilian Koech

Lilian Koech’s resume speaks for itself. The redshirt senior is a 2018 outdoor All Conference-USA first team selection in the 1500 -meter race, as well as a second team All Conference-USA selection in 2017 and 2018 in the 800-meter race. Last season, Koech earned an invitation to the NCAA West Preliminaries finishing 14th at the event. In the first indoor meet of the season  Jan. 12 at the Texas Tech Corky Classic, Koech recorded a time of 4:59.88 in route to a first-place finish in the mile run. Koech was named the Steve Hoy Athlete of the Week after her performance at the Texas A&M Triangular meet.
Chantoba Bright

Freshman Chantoba Bright is coming off an impressive outing at the Texas Corky Classic recording a leap of 5.90 meters in the long jump ranking her 24th in the nation and first in Conference-USA. Bright recorded a fifth place finish in the long jump at the Nairobi IAAF World Under 18 Championships. At the South African Under 20 Championship, Bright earned a gold medal in the long jump and a bronze in the triple jump. Bright finished second in the long jump with a leap of 5.63 meters. Bright also posted a personal best time of  2:08.02 in the 800-meter event, which ranks her ninth nationally and second in Conference-USA.

Madison Gibson

Junior Madison Gibson is coming off a standout 2018 indoor season with two first-place finishes at the Don Kirby Tailwind in the 400-meter and 4×400 -meter relay. Gibson’s 2018 outdoor performances were just as stellar, earning a silver medal with the 4×400 relay team at the C-USA Championship. Gibson also recorded a time of 11:38.18 in the distance medley race. 

UTEP Women’s Tennis

Erandi Martinez

In her freshman campaign, Martinez was named team MVP and for good reason. Martinez is currently tied for seventh all-time on UTEP’s single-win list with 20. Martinez maintained a five-match win streak from February to March in her freshman season. In the 2018 fall single season, Martinez won straight sets at the ITA Mountain Regional Tournament. She earned a consolation championship victory at the SDSU Fall Invite this past fall defeating sophomore Ludovica Infantio from Grand Canyon University.

Kirsten Prelle

Freshman Kirsten Prelle has already began to show signs of excellence through the 2018 fall season. Prelle won her second collegiate single and double matchups at the ITA Mountain Regional Tournament and reached the round of 32 in the singles bracket. Prelle defeated freshman Wiktoria Nosek from Boise State University in the round of 64 before falling to sophomore Alexandra Pisareva from Utah State. Prelle also had a six-match, single winning streak reaching the championship of the SDSU fall classic before falling in a three-set battle against sophomore Nnena Nadozie of San Diego State University.

Milena Baigorria

Sophomore Milena Baigorria posted a solid freshman season with a 3-0 record for the Miners. Baigorria earned four doubles wins and  had a four -match winning streak from January to March. Baigorria also earned back-to- back doubles victory against Grand Canyon and Angelo State. At the ITA Mountain Regional Tournament, Baigorria earned a win against Weber State freshman Sara Parker in straight sets. Baigorria was also named to the Conference-USA Commissioner’s academic honor roll in 2017.

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