April 10, 2010
EL PASO – In an emotional day at the 2010 UTEP Invitational, head coach Bob Kitchens coached his last meet at Kidd Field, a place where he has masterfully produced hundreds of the nation’s top student-athletes year in and year out through the last 22 years.
The meet closed out the 2010 UTEP Track and Field Hall of Fame weekend that included the induction of 1986 NCAA discus champion Olav Jenssen into a prestigious group of former Miners. The current UTEP track and field team, however, made sure to close out Kitchens’ last home go-around in style.
“Today was a great day of competition for our teams,” head coach Bob Kitchens said. “It was a very productive day. We had a lot of PRs and we accomplished what we set out to do.”
Tako Niare and Amanda Apodaca teamed up for a one-two finish in the high jump. Niare, a sophomore from Cergy, France, leaped to a personal best 1.68 meters (5-06) for the gold. Apodaca’s best jump of the day was 1.64 meters (5-04.50) for runner up honors.
Also on field events, Canadian Laura Macauley picked up her first top finish in 2010 with a season best in the javelin, 46.26m (151-09).
It was a special day for sophomore Kitria Stewart as she won her first event in a Miner uniform. The Baltimore native clocked in a personal best of 2:12.43 in the 800m shaving off almost four seconds off her time at last week’s Texas Relays.
Senior Aggrey Chirchir completed the UTEP sweep in the 800m with a time of 1:52.16 bettering the 1:52.36 at UTEP’s Springtime on March 27.
As done two weeks ago at home, the Miners cleaned up the gold in the relays. Gladys Nwaubani, Endurance Abinuwa, Siobhian Crain and Shalaiyah Sommerville got things started on the track completing the exchange in 45.55 for a first place finish in the 4x100m relay.
The foursome of Suji Adeniyan, Anderson Mutegi, Curtis Kock and Ronalds Arajs took the field following the women’s 400m relay to produce the nation’s eighth best time this season, 39.52.
In the final two events of the day, the 4x400m relay squads finished first with the women (Crain, Marine Menez, Chasity Ross, Abinuwa) posting a time of 3:43.28 and the men (Adeniyan, Kock, A. Chirchir, Mutegi) a 3:12.47 – both rank second amongst Conference USA times this season.
The 400-meter dashes saw a pair of new C-USA bests as Abinuwa’s 53.13 and Mutegi’s 46.24 both took silver in the event.
In one of the meet’s premier events, former Miner Churandy Martina edged out Ryan Bailey in the men’s 100m in a world’s best time of 10.03 this year. Bailey clocked in at 10.09, but posted his own world-leading mark in the 200m with a time of 20.40 – Martina finished second, 20.48.
The world-class competition pushed a pair of Miners to C-USA bests this season. Arajs dashed to a 10.31 in the 100m as the top collegiate finisher. Mutegi also produced a league’s best in the 200 meters crossing the finish line at 20.97 with Adeniyan following at 21.06 for the league’s second best performance this season. C-USA previous leader in the event was Arajs with a wind-aided 21.11.
Chasity Ross claimed gold in the 400m hurdles with a personal best 1:02.78.
The distance runners dominated the 1,500-meter run with cross country All-American Risper Kimaiyo taking first, 4:36.22, Jepchirchir Kigen taking second, 4:38.83, Gladys Chumba was third, 4:40.02, and Kathya Garcia finishing fourth, 4:40.46. In the men’s 1,500m Justice Chirchir posted a 3:49.63 for first and All-American Nicodemus Ng’etich took silver with a time of 3:50.86.
In an unfortunate event, All-American and NCAA Champion Blessing Okagbare missed the world record time in the 100m this season following a timing equipment malfunction. The hand-timed 10.7 will be unofficially adjusted to 10.94. Okagbare, however, is still the NCAA leader in the event with a 11.10 set at last week’s Texas Relays.
The No. 11 nationally ranked women along with the men will have two weeks to prepare for their next meet, the Drake Relays set for April 22-24.