Lacena Golding Clarke enters her fifth year as an assistant coach at UTEP having joined the staff on July 19, 2012.
During her time at UTEP, Clarke has coached seven All-Americans, 16 regional qualifiers, 23 C-USA individual crowns and six school records. She is in charge of the Miners' multi-events, jumps and hurdle events.
Last season, Golding Clarke guided freshman Tobi Amusan to All-American status after claiming silver at the NCAA Championships in the 100m hurdles. The hurdler had a memorable season, breaking a 33-year old record with a time of 12.83 clocked in at the UTEP Invitational. Her time was the second-fastest time ever run by an athlete under the age of 20 in the world and is both a Nigerian and African Junior record. Amusan was named C-USA Track Athlete of the Year, C-USA Freshman of the Meet and C-USA High Point Scorer. During the indoor season, she peaked at the C-USA Championships with the third-best time in school history (8.23) claiming her first gold medal and helping the women secure the C-USA team title. Amusan went on to compete at the IAAF U20 Championships and 2016 Summer Olympics.
Golding Clarke also mentored newcomer Lucia Mokrasova, who made her first appearance at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon and garnered All-American second team honors. During the indoor season, the sophomore claimed the school record in the pentathlon with 3,950 points registered in the Texas A&M Invitational. Mokrasova went on to claim the crown at the C-USA Indoor Championships in the pentathlon.
Golding Clarke also had Yanique Bennett and Bria Love qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries in the 400m hurdles and 100m hurdles, respectively.
In 2015, Golding Clarke helped the women’s team secure its first conference title in program history in Birmingham. Five of her athletes (Jallycia Pearson, Aeisha McDavid, Greta Kerekes, Anna-Kay James and Nickevea Wilson) tallied 42 of the Miners 122 points. Pearson placed second in the pentathlon and fourth in the 60m hurdles, Wilson earned silver in the triple jump, Kerekes won gold in the 60m hurdles, James took second in the 60m hurdles and McDavid placed sixth in the pentathlon.
Golding Clarke tutored two heptathletes who were able to score points at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships. Jallycia Pearson, the school recorder holder in the event, placed second and senior Aeisha McDavid, who ranks fifth in program history, earned a seventh-place showing.
Pearson went on to earn All-America honorable mention in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships.
Golding Clarke also coerced high jumper Carlos Hernandez to a solid season. Hernandez tallied five top-four finishes at meets throughout the year in the high jump including a fourth-place showing at the C-USA Championships. He also finished fourth in the long jump at the C-USA Championships. Hernandez would go on to compete in the high and long jump at the NCAA West Preliminaries.
In 2014, Clarke helped guide the UTEP men's team to the 2014 Conference USA Outdoor title and led Janice Jackson, Mark Jackson and Nickevea Wilson to their first Indoor All-American honors.
On the field, Mark Jackson was the runner-up in the men's triple jump at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championship, as he recorded a stellar personal-best leap of 16.38m (53-9). The senior is one of four Miners in program history to finish in the top-two in the NCAA Indoor Championship in the men's triple jump (Bob Beamon '68, Arnold Grimes '75, '76, '77 and Norbert Elliott '85). His performance in the event ranks him fifth all-time in school history.
Janice Jackson placed fifth in the 60m hurdles to join former Miner Kim Turner as the only UTEP women to claim All-American recognition in the 60m hurdles. Wilson earned placed eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 12.90m (42-4).
In the outdoor season, Clarke led six Miners to the 2014 NCAA West Preliminary Championship and four to the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championship, including multi-event athlete Jallycia Pearson who earned a bid to the national meet with her gold-medal performance in the heptathlon at the 2014 C-USA Outdoor Championships. The El Pasoan set a new meet record of 5,576 points breaking the previous record of 5,571 set in 2007 by SMU's Gaelle Niare.
In 2013, Clarke guided Janice Jackson and Mark Jackson to All-Americans and Mountain Region Field Athlete of the Year honors. She also helped guide the UTEP men's team to the 2013 Conference USA Outdoor title.
Clarke came to UTEP from the University of Texas at Austin, where she served as an assistant track and field coach for women's jumps and hurdles for five years.
At Texas, Clarke helped train a three-time NCAA qualifier, two-time Big 12 Champion and record holder in the long jump and triple jump. During her time with the Longhorns, she became an academic mentor and guided students through their college transition.
Clarke served as a volunteer coach for seven years at Auburn University. She assisted the head coach in hurdles and multi events as she helped guide the women's team to its first NCAA title in 2006. Clarke mentored three SEC champions during her time with the Tigers.
Clarke graduated in 1999 from Auburn University with a bachelor's of arts degree in political science and government. As a Tiger, Clarke became a six time All-American claiming silver in the long jump at the 1998 NCAA Championships. She was a four-time SEC Champion and holds the school record in the women's 55m hurdles. In 1998, she became a South Eastern Conference Women's Commissioner's Trophy winner.
Clarke competed for Jamaica at the Olympics in 1996, 2000 and 2004, participating in the long jump and 100m hurdles. In 2004 Olympics, she finished fifth overall in the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.73; her personal best is 12.65.
Clarke was a professional athlete for 10 years and participated in six consecutive World Championships. She was the Commonwealth Games Champion in 2002; she posted a bronze medal finish at the 2004 World Athletics Final in the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.69.
Clarke, her husband and their son Nathaniel reside in El Paso.
Lacena Golding Clarke
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