Women’s Track and Field Captures Third Conference Title

Last Updated on February 21, 2017 at 4:16 PM

Originally published February 21, 2017

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

The "Mining Minds" pickaxe sculpture at UTEP's University Avenue roundabout was illuminated in blue and orange Tuesday evening, Feb. 21, 2017 to celebrate The University of Texas at El Paso women’s track and field team.

Women's Track Team
The UTEP women's track and field team members celebrate their third consecutive conference title. Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics.

The team claimed the 2017 Conference USA Indoor title for the third year in a row on Sunday, Feb. 19.

UTEP earned the championship trophy with 113 points after a close battle with Rice University, which had 110 points.

“It’s very special,” UTEP head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “We followed our plan and the girls performed at their best. The senior class really deserved this and they worked really hard. It’ll be tough to replace them next year.”

Laaksonen was named C-USA Coach of the Year.

Tobi Amusan led the Miners, scoring 25 team points. The sophomore ran a meet record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.01 and also captured gold in the 200m. She was named the High Point Scorer of the Meet.

Lucia Mokrasova defended her title in the pentathlon with a total score of 3,919 points.

Winny Koech won the 5,000m run with a time of 16:31.70.

On the men’s side, the team finished fifth overall with a total of 74 points.

Michael Saruni won gold medals in the mile run and the 800m, and the distance medley relay team of Daniel Cheruiyot, Alejandro Alcazar, Esteban Montanez and Jonah Koech won first place in their event.

“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 miningminds.utep.edu.