Miners Advance to the Finals at C-USA Championships

HOUSTON - Fighting for the Conference USA Outdoor title, the Miners advance to the finals after setting qualifying times on Saturday.

Claiming success for the men's team was Anthony Rotich. The Conference USA Champion defended his title in the 3,000m steeplechase garnering his first crown of the meet.

The two-time National Champion conquered the field of 21 runners and never looked back. The All-American clocked in a time of 8:53.27 earning the Miners 10 points. Teammate Elkana Rotich placed fourth with a time of 9:13.09 gaining an additional five points for UTEP.

Earlier in the meet Anthony Rotich set a qualifying time of 3:51.95 in the 1,500m prelims. Newcomer Cosmas Boit also qualified in the event with the fastest time in the prelims at 3:50.43.Both Rotich and Boit will take to the track at 3: 55 p.m. (MT) for the final.

Also highlighting the distance squad was Daniel Tarango. The El Paso native registered the third fastest time in the 800m prelims with a mark of 1:53.05. The sophomore will look to capture the title at tomorrow at 5:05 p.m.

On the sprint side, A-Shawni Mitchell and Abiola Onakoya delivered qualifying times in the men's 400m. Mitchell took first in the first heat with a time of 47.73. Finishing second in the fourth heat Onakoya clocked in a time of 47.71. The two sprinters will compete in the final tomorrow at 4:35.

Rounding out the sprints was Mark Jackson in 100m dash prelims. The All-American clocked in a qualifying time of 10.31 beating out 28 runners.

Leading the Orange and Blue in the hurdles were Sven Zellner and Roberto Camacho.

Setting a qualifying of 14.34 Sven Zellner will be one of eight Conference USA athletes fighting for the crown in the 110m hurdles.

Teammate Roberto Camacho dominated the 400m hurdle prelims as he clocked in the fastest time in the event at 51.66.

On the field, Brandon Moss garnered a bronze-medal finish in the long jump. The El Paso native recorded a personal-best leap of 7.77m (26-06.00) ranking him 14th in the nation.

Mark Jackson followed in at fourth with a personal-best leap of his own at 7.76m (25-05.50). The senior will take to the field one more time for the Miners in the triple jump at 2 p.m.

Leading the women's team was Janice Jackson. The All-American qualified in two events today. In her first event Jackson set a time of 13.37 advancing her to the finals in the 100m hurdles. The Conference USA Champion continued her success as she ran a qualifying time of 11.53 in the 100m dash.

Also qualifying to the 100m hurdle finals was Anna-Kay James with a time of    13.56.

Florence Uwakwe represented the Orange and Blue in the 400m dash and the 200m dash. The newcomer recorded the fastest time in the 400m prelims with a time of 53.34. She kept consistent as she ran a qualifying time in the 200m dash with a time of 23.67. The freshman will kick off the last day of the C-USA Championship with the 400m final at 4:40 p.m. tomorrow.

On the field Samantha Hall garnered her first C-USA medal. The freshman claimed bronze in the discus with a personal-best toss of 52.49m (172-02).

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