Track & Field Finish Drake Relays With A Flurry
April 26, 2008
Two victories, a school-record performance and several NCAA regional qualifying marks were among the highlights for the nationally-ranked UTEP track and field teams on the final day of action at the renowned Drake Relays Saturday afternoon.
"I would have liked to see us a little bit more on the upside, but I think if you think if you put things into perspective with all of the talent there is at this meet there were some good things", UTEP head coach Bob Kitchens said.
UTEP dominated the field in the men's 800m run, with Dominic Tanui and Elias Koech finishing 1-2 in respective times of 1:49.38 and 1:50.49. Tanui's effort is a season-best and NCAA regional qualifying mark, while Koech's falls just shy of the standard. Additionally, Aggrey Chirchir rolled to a fifth-place showing thanks to a final marker of 1:51.05.
Kelly Young topped the field in the 1500m run after churning to a campaign-fast and NCAA regional-qualifying clocking of 4:23.52. Also competing in the event was Happy Mary Bacia, who notched a 10th-place finish after cranking out a time of 4:31.63.
Keisha Walkes had a historic performance in the shot put, breaking her own school standard by heaving 16.01m (52-06.50) to secure fifth place in a competitive field.
Blessing Okagbare snared runner-up honors in the long jump by leaping an NCAA-regional qualifying distance of 6.41 (21-00.500. Nelly Tchayem took home sixth place in her heat with an effort of 5.69 (18-08.00).
Senior All-American Mickael Hanany, competing in a high jump invitational, easily surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying standard by clearing 2.26m (7-05.00). The effort was good enough to snare second place.
Nina Schvedoff had a strong showing in the women's hammer throw, claiming seventh place after a personal-best and NCAA regional-qualifying toss of 60.72m (199-02).
Quashanda Welch posted an NCAA qualifying time and personal-best clocking of 13.23 to earn a fourth-place finish in the 100m hurdles.
The Miners had a pair of entrants in the men's hammer throw, in the form of Dimitrios Fylladitakis and Hans Eriksson. Fylladitakis heaved a season-long and NCAA regional-qualifying throw of 64.77m (212-06), which propelled the freshman to a sixth-place finish. Eriksson also eclipsed the regional mark, thanks to a throw of 61.87m (203-00) en route to a ninth-place showing.
In the 100m dash finals, Halimat Ismaila claimed seventh after crossing the line in 11.75.
UTEP will now be idle until playing host to the Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships from May 15-17 at Kidd Field.