UTEP’s Powell & Morais come up short of a national championship


Daniel Alec Lopez, Sports Editor

UTEP’s track and field team competed for a national championship June 8-11 at Track Town Field in Eugene, Oregon. After its success at the NCAA West Preliminary round Saturday May 28 at John McDonnell field in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Representing the UTEP Miners was sophomore Jevaughn Powell for the men’s team and sophomore transfer Arianne Morias, a javelin thrower, representing the women’s team. 

Morais, a sophomore transfer from the University of Florida, earned the right to compete for a national championship for the first time in her collegiate career.  

She also hurled a personal best at UTEP with a 51.04-meter (167-5) mark on her third and final attempt, which helped send her to the national championship. 

Morais’ best time so far in her collegiate career came out to 55.13-meter 180-10 mark a year ago at the Tom Jones Memorial, track meet during her time with Florida 

“We are proud of our student athletes who had an opportunity to compete here,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “Both teams competed well, achieving multiple season-best performances here. I was happy to see Arianne and Jevaughn advance to the final round in Eugene, Oregon, and compete at historic Hayward Field.” Laaksonen said in a post-meet interview on May 28. 

On May 27, Powell had a career day in Arkansas, having a personal-best time of 44.87. Powell also posted the second-best time overall behind University of Texas Longhorn senior Jonathon Jones, which was at 44.85. 

This will also be the second consecutive season where a student athlete is competing in Oregon for a national championship. Last year, graduate transfer Sean Bailey competed in the 4×100 event. 

This would be Powell’s second go-around in competing in this event. Last year, Powell was successful in the 4×100, and it would be the second time he competed for a championship. He has worked resiliently to come out victorious this time around. 

However, on Friday June 10th, Powell placed seventh in the 4×100 virtually ending his season. His coach, Mike Laakonsonen had positive comments to say about Powell’s performance in Oregon. 

“Jevaughn closed out a tremendous outdoor season here in Eugene today,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “His start for the race was bit timid today, but his first team All-American title as a sophomore is an impressive accomplishment. I’m hoping this one is the first of many more to follow. Congrats to Jevaughn and his coach Davian Clarke. “Head Coach Mike Laakonsonen said in a post-meet interview on June 10th. 

Morais also came up short, on Thursday June ninth, with Morais finishing in 22nd place after tallying a 50.26-meter 164-1) mark on her first throw. It was her second-best attempt of the season as she had battled injuries during the campaign. 

“I’m proud of Arianne, making it all the way to the NCAA’s without a single javelin throwing practice this year,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “When she gets healthy, watch out.” Coach Laaksonen said in a post-meet interview June 9.  


Stats provided by UTEP Athletics.  

Daniel Alec Lopez is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]