22 Miners Qualify for NCAA West Preliminary Round

E. Abinuwa

May 20, 2012

EL PASO - The UTEP track and field team heads to Austin, Texas for the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds starting on Thursday at Myers Stadium.

The University of Texas at Austin serves as host of the preliminary round scheduled to begin on Thursday, May 24 at 11 a.m. (CT) and will conclude on Saturday, May 26 at 9:45 p.m. with the women's 4x400m relay. Results from the meet are available at http://www.texassports.com/livestats/c-track/

Tickets may be purchased online at TexasBoxOffice.com or by calling (512) 471-3333. All-session tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for youth and senior citizens. 

Leading the men's team is Conference USA Champion, Anthony Wright earning a spot in the men's 100m prelims. At the conference meet the junior posted a season-best of 10.51 and secured his second C-USA title as a Miner. Wright will also be competing in the 4x100m relay set to begin at 6 p.m.

UTEP will have three Miners running in the 400m on Thursday starting at 7:20 p.m. Newcomer Abiola Onakoya leads the crew with the 29th-fastest time in the nation recorded at the C-USA Championships. The sophomore clocked in a time of 46.08 and finished second overall.

Teammates A-Shawni Mitchell and Curtis Kock will also be competing in the men's 400m preliminary round. Mitchell holds the 20th seed with a time of 46.49 registered at the UTEP Springtime meet. Kock finished fourth at the conference championships with a season-best of 47.22.

Conference USA Freshman of the Year, Anthony Rotich will wrap up day two of competition with the men's 3,000m steeplechase. The freshman took two medals in his first C-USA Outdoor Championships. Rotich posted the 43rd-fastest time in the nation at the Stanford Invitational in the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 8:55.63. The Kenyan native will take the track at 8:50 p.m. on Friday.

Qualifying for the second consecutive year is Richard Olsson in the men's javelin throw. The sophomore took bronze in the javelin at the 2012 C-USA Championships. Olsson is ranked 20th in the nation in the javelin with a personal-best of 71.58m recorded at the 2012 UTEP Springtime meet.

The men's team will be participating in the 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay on Saturday.

The women's squad is lead by All-American Endurance Abinuwa in the women's 400m dash. The senior posted a season-best the last time she was in Austin for the 2012 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Abinuwa is ranked 25th in the nation with a time of 11.41 in the event. The All-American will also be participating in the 4x100m relay on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Janice Jackson will take the track on Friday in the women's 100m hurdles. The sophomore clocked in the 25th-fastest time in the nation at the C-USA Championships, where she took third in the 100m hurdles with a personal-best of 13.27.

Joining Jackson in the hurdles is Samantha Sharper, who also posted a personal-best of 13.75 at the conference meet.

Sisters Kathya Garcia and Karina Garcia will be representing the Miners in the 10,000m on Thursday. Kathya Garcia took silver in the women's 10,000m at the C-USA Championships. The senior is ranked 50th in the nation with a time of 34:19.26 posted at the Stanford Invitational. Karina Garcia also registered a season-best at the Stanford Invitational with a time of 34:40.82.

On the field, Laura Macauley earned the 18th seed in the preliminary round with a mark of 48.77m in the javelin registered at the UTEP Springtime. The senior earned a bronze medal in the javelin at the C-USA meet.    

For more information on the 2012 NCAA Division I Track and Field West Preliminary Round, please visit www.texassports.com.





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