Miners Look To Qualify For NCAA Championships

The second-ranked UTEP track and field team will seek to advance athletes to the NCAA Championships this weekend at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Austin, Texas.

The Miners will be looking for automatic bids to the NCAA Championships -- which will be held from June 7-11 in Sacramento, Calif. -- by placing in the top five at the regional meet. Those who miss the top five will have to be in the top 12 of the national descending order list to be considered for at-large bids.

The men’s team will have student-athletes entered in eight individuals events as well as one relay.

Churandy Martina holds the region’s fastest times in the 100-meter dash (9.95) and the 200-meter dash (20.27). He will be joined by All-American Daniel Ward in the 200, who has run 20.63 this year.

Martina and Ward will make up half of the 400-meter relay -- joined by Yinka Bello and El Paso native John Alipio. The relay has the fastest time in the Midwest this season, running 39.23.

All-Americans Mircea Bogdan and Patrick Mutai have the two top times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase entering this weekend’s competition. Bogdan -- the defending national champion -- has the nation’s fastest time of 8:31.72, while Mutai has run 8:35.97.

Junior Mickael Hanany, who was the C-USA High Point Award winner, will compete in the high jump and long jump. Hanany cleared a lifetime best 7-6 1/2 (2.30) at the conference championship. The mark is tied for the best leap in the country this season. He additionally ranks sixth in the region in the long jump.

Miners Elias Koech and Dominic Kiprono Tanui will battle in the 800-meter dash. The duo were All-Americans indoors this season, but sit fifth (Tanui-1:48.66) and eighth (Koech-1:49.01) in the region outdoors.

Throwers Correy Harrison and Alex van der Merwe will also have challenges in their respective events. Harrison -- a 2005 NCAA qualifier -- threw a lifetime best of 189-5 (57.74) to win the discus at the C-USA Championships. Van der Merwe was also a conference champion in the javelin. He rates third in the Midwest this season.

The women’s squad will have a loaded lineup as well.

Oludamola Osayomi will run in the 100-meter dash (ranks second in region, 11.13) and in the 200 (rates fifth in region, 23.16). She will also team up with Jacqueline Ike, Siobhian Crain and Halimat Ismaila to make up the 400 relay.

Ismaila and Olatunde Okusanya will both be on the bubble in the 400-meter dash. Okusanya ranks ninth in the region (52.97), while Ismaila is 15th (53.92).

In the 800, Fatimoh Muhammed and Jenny Holmroos hold the Midwest’s second and third-fastest times. Muhammed has run 2:06.36 and Holmroos has run 2:06.44.

Muhammed, Okusanya, Holmroos and Ismaila will additionally run the 1,600-meter relay, which ranks seventh entering competition.

All-American Desiree Crichlow (triple jump) and Nina Schvedoff (hammer) will enter the weekend also ranked seventh in their events.

Erma Gene Evans -- a 2005 NCAA qualifier -- is set to throw the javelin. The C-USA champion is rated third in the region with a best throw of 180-5 (55.00)

UTEP’s lineup at the Midwest Regional from May 26-27 follows:

UTEP’s NCAA Midwest Regional Lineup

Friday, May 26
1 p.m. - Men’s long jump FINAL - Mickael Hanany
2 p.m. - Women’s javelin FINAL - Erma Gene Evans
3 p.m. - Women’s 400-meter relay Prelims - Ike, Ismaila, Crain, Osayomi
3:15 p.m. - Men’s 400-meter relay Prelims - Bello, Ward, Alipio, Martina
5 p.m. - Men’s discus FINAL - Correy Harrison
5 p.m. - Women’s 800-meter run Prelims - Jenny Holmroos, Fatimoh Muhammed
5:20 p.m. - Men’s 800-meter run Prelims - Elias Koech, Dominic Kiprono Tanui
6 p.m. - Women’s 100-meter dash Prelims - Oludamola Osayomi
6:20 p.m. - Men’s 100-meter dash Prelims - Churandy Martina
7 p.m. - Women’s 400-meter dash Prelims - Halimat Ismaila, Olatunde Okusanya
7:40 p.m. - Women’s 200-meter dash Prelims - Oludamola Osayomi
8 p.m. - Men’s 200-meter dash Prelims - Churandy Martina, Daniel Ward

Saturday, May 27
12 p.m. - Women’s hammer FINAL - Nina Schvedoff
1 p.m. - Women’s triple jump FINAL - Desiree Crichlow
2 p.m. - Men’s javelin FINAL - Alex van der Merwe
4:30 p.m. - Women’s 400-meter relay FINAL
4:40 p.m. - Men’s 400-meter relay FINAL
5 p.m. - Men’s high jump FINAL - Mickael Hanany
5:30 p.m. - Women’s 800-meter run FINAL
5:40 p.m. - Men’s 800-meter run FINAL
5:50 p.m. - Women’s 100-meter dash FINAL
6 p.m. - Men’s 100-meter dash FINAL
6:50 p.m. - Women’s 200-meter dash FINAL
7 p.m. - Men’s 200-meter dash FINAL
7:35 p.m. - Men’s 3000-meter steeplechase FINAL - Mircea Bogdan, Patrick Mutai
8 p.m. - Women’s 1600-meter relay FINAL - Muhammed, Okusanya, Holmroos, Ismaila



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