Mining Minds’ Special Lighting to Honor Women’s Track and Field Champions

Last Updated on May 18, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published May 18, 2017

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in orange and blue Friday evening, May 19, 2017, to celebrate The University of Texas at El Paso women’s track and field team, which claimed the 2017 Conference USA outdoor championship title with 153 points on Sunday, May 14. This is the team’s first ever C-USA outdoor championship title.

Members of The University of Texas at El Paso women’s track and field team celebrate their 2017 Conference USA outdoor championship title on Sunday, May 14. Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics.

Sophomore sensation Tobi Amusan led the Miners by scoring 24.5 team points. The Kenyan native took home two gold (100m hurdles and 4x100m relay), one silver (200m) and a fifth-place finish in the long jump. Amusan clocked 12.80 seconds in the 100m hurdles and ran a personal-best 22.92 seconds in the 200m.

Winny Koech added 20 points by capturing gold in both the 10,000m (35:44.15) and the 5,000m run (16:52.87).

Head coach Mika Laaksonen was named the women’s C-USA Coach of the Year for the outdoor season.

“Our women’s team capturing their first outdoor title ever is a huge deal, and to do it here at home makes it that much more special,” Laaksonen said.

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus. At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while light from LEDs emanate from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick.

On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange. Learn more about the statue and its artist at