Cheruiyot places second in Iowa State Classic


Courtesy of UTEP

Cheruiyot ran in his first 5000m race and posted the third best time in Conference USA (C-USA) this season.

Michael Cuviello, Sports Editor

Freshman distance runner Titus Cheruiyot continued to excel in indoor season as he finished in second place with a time of 14:03.03 in the men’s 5000-meter race in Ames, Iowa. Cheruiyot ran in his first 5000m race and posted the third best time in Conference USA (C-USA) this season. 

Almost 30 seconds off the pace of the best times in C-USA, Cheruiyot will certainly have to push himself to win the event at the C-USA championships. Contending for a medal in both the 3000m and 500m distances is well within his reach. 

Sophomore Rogers Korir placed 22nd in the 5000m with a personal best time of 14:20.54. Korir’s time is the fourth best time of the year in C-USA this season. Teammate junior Carolyne Chepkosegei finished seventh in the 800 meters with a personal best time of 2:06.17, running the fastest time in the event. This season Chepkosegei is a favorite to take a gold medal at the C-USA championships. 

The rest of the UTEP track team competed at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Senior Sean Bailey was one of only two Miners to come away with a victory, winning the 400 meters in a personal best 46.46. The clear favorite in the upcoming C-USA championships Bailey has the top two times in the distance this season and is getting closer to the Miner record in the event. 

Standing out as the other UTEP winner at the meet was junior Karol Koncos setting a personal best in the weight throw with 20.56 meters, which is more than a meter better than any throw in the conference this year. 

In total, 10 Miners set personal bests at the meet. Sophomore Chantoba Bright finished second in the triple jump with 13.28 meters, which is the top jump in C-USA this season. Bright’s jump was about a half meter from matching the school record of 13.64 set in 2008. 

For the second week in a row, senior Shakeem Smith ran a fraction of a second off his UTEP record time of 7.90 in the 60meter hurdles. Smith finished third with a time of 7.91. For the fourth time this season, Smith has ran 7.91 or faster in the 60m hurdles.  Continuing to improve, sophomore Maribel Caicedo ran a C-USA best time of 8.34 in the 60-meter hurdles. The time was only good enough for fourth place at the invitational, but it sets her up as a favorite in the C-USA championships. 

Placing fifth in the 3000m run junior Boaz Ronah finished in 8:44.65 in a race that was well off the pace of top C-USA performers this season. Ronah finished 15 seconds off his best time, ran just a week ago on the same track. 

Running a personal best 47.61 in the 400m final, freshman Jevaugn Powell placed sixth just 0.11 seconds off the third place finisher. Powell’s performance places him just outside the top five times in C-USA this season. 

Freshman sprinter Davion Bynaum finished sixth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.78, which is within is 0.01 second off the best time in C-USA this year. Fellow freshman Kenneth Talevara ran a personal best in the mile with a time of 4:17.02, which was good enough for an eighth place finish. 

Eastlake High graduate and Miner freshman pole vaulter Keith Rodriguez continues to improve vaulting 4.62m, placing fifth in the event. 

Overall, the UTEP track team is set up very well to compete for gold at the C-USA Championships starting Feb. 23 in Birmingham, Alabama. The Miners women’s team finished second overall in 2019, while the men’s team finished sixth. 

Michael Cuviello may be reached at [email protected]