Miners Ready for NCAA Pre Nationals

Risper Kimaiyo

May 25, 2010

Championship Central | Schedule | Watch Live | Men's Start List | Women's Start List

A contingent of 17 Miners will trek to Austin, Texas, for the NCAA track and field pre national meet that begins on Thursday, May 27, and runs through Saturday, May 29, at the Mike A. Myers Track and Field Stadium.

The meet, one of two sites seeing action this weekend, will host the preliminary round leading up to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships set for June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore. 

Returning to the national stage for the 13th-ranked women is nine-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion Blessing Okagbare. Okagbare heads into the preliminary rounds of the 100-meter dash and the long jump with the nation’s top performances in both events this season. Austin is a good site for Okagbare as both top marks (100m-11.10/LJ-6.88m) were set at the Mike A. Myers Track and Field Stadium at the Texas Relays earlier this season. The Sapele, Nigeria, native will also anchor the women’s 4x100m relay alongside Endurance Abinuwa, Siobhian Crain and All-American Shalaiyah Sommerville. The senior claimed national titles in the long jump and the 60-meter dash at this year’s indoor meet.

Fellow All-American Anna Wessman joins Okagbare on the field in the women’s javelin. The sophomore from Vaxjo, Sweden, took bronze at last year’s meet and goes into pre nationals as the top returner despite owning the second-best throw this season. The national leader, Marissa Tschida from Washington State, will also be competing in this weekend’s west regional. Also competing in the women’s javelin is sophomore Laura Macauley ranked 23rd in the regional descending list.

Rounding up the women competing in individual events are Abinuwa in the 400m, Terran Alexander in the hammer and Risper Kimaiyo and Kathya Garcia in the 5,000-meter run.

For the men, junior All-American Dimitrios Fylladitakis and Hans Eriksson will take the field in the hammer throw. Fylladitakis owns the top mark in the west region, 68.82m (225-9), the sixth-best in the country this year. He finished fifth at last year’s nationals with a distance of 68.04m (223-02).

The rest of the action for the Miner men will take place on the field. Sprinters Suji Adeniyan, Anderson Mutegi, Curtis Kock and Ronalds Arajs look to extend their run as a relay when they line-up for the men’s 4x100m relay on Saturday night. Individually, all four will have a chance to qualify for Eugene throughout the weekend. Arajs kicks things off in the 100m on Thursday afternoon with Mutegi and Kock vying for spots in the quarterfinals of the 400m. Adeniyan will be the sole competitor in the 200-meter dash on Friday night.

Cross country All-American Nicodemus Ng’etich is in position to advance to nationals in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase. The senior is tenth in the west regional list with a time of 8:46.68.

Action begins for the Miners on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. (CT) with Justice Chirchir in the men’s 1,500 race.

The Road to Eugene…
A total of 96 athletes in each event (except the combined events and relays) will compete in the opening rounds in each of the individual events contested at a national championship this weekend. Events from the 100 meters to the 1500 meters will consist of four rounds total, two of which will be contested this weekend in the opening rounds. In the 100 to 800, fields will be cut from 96 total (48 in a region) to 48 total (24 to a region) in the first round and from that 48 total (24 region) to 24 total (12 in a region) in the quarterfinals to form the Eugene “24”, those who will advance to Eugene, Ore., to finish competition and find a national champion.

All the other events are similar, but will have unique compositions of rounds and advancement formulas. For example, the 10,000 meters will consist of two rounds total, a semifinal held at each prelim site and a final held in Eugene. The 10k will be the only event in which all 48 contestants in a region will compete at the same time; all vying for those 12 spots that will advance to Eugene. The field events are of a similar animal with the bottom line of being in the top 12 in the region necessary to advance. Relays will have a total of 48 teams (24 to a region) and will compete in one round this weekend, with the top three in each heat, plus the next three fastest times (in a region) advancing to Eugene where a total of 24 relays will be on display at the final site.



UTEP Schedule (All times central) 


4:30 p.m. Men’s 1,500m Preliminaries Justice Chirchir

5:30 p.m. Women’s Javelin Anna Wessman, Laura Macauley

5:30 p.m. Men’s 100m Preliminaries Ronalds Arajs

6:00 p.m. Women’s 100m Preliminaries Blessing Okagbare

6:30 p.m. Men’s 400m Preliminaries Anderson Mutegi, Curtis Kock

7:00 p.m. Women’s 400m Preliminaries Endurance Abinuwa


3:00 p.m. Men’s Hammer Dimitrios Fylladitakis, Hans Eriksson

5:30 p.m. Men’s 400m Quarterfinals Anderson Mutegi, Curtis Kock

5:45 p.m. Women’s 400m Quarterfinals Endurance Abinuwa

6:00 p.m. Men’s 100m Quarterfinals Ronalds Arajs

6:15 p.m. Women’s 100m Quarterfinals Blessing Okagbare

7:00 p.m. Women’s Long Jump Blessing Okagbare

7:30 p.m. Men’s 200m Preliminaries Suji Adeniyan

8:30 p.m. Men’s Steeplechase Nicodemus Ng’etich


3:00 p.m. Women’s Hammer Terran Alexander

6:00 p.m. Women’s 4x100m Relay Sommerville, Abinuwa, Crain, Okagbare

6:15 p.m. Men’s 4x100m Relay Adeniyan, Mutegi, Kock, Arajs

6:45 p.m. Men’s 1,500m Quarterfinal Justice Chirchir

7:50 p.m. Men’s 200m Quarterfinal Suji Adeniyan

8:50 p.m. Women’s 5,000m Semifinal Risper Kimaiyo, Kathya Garcias

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