UTEP claimed two superlative Conference USA track and field honors as Emmanuel Korir and Tobi Amusan were named C-USA Male and Female Track Athletes of the Year, announced by the league office on Friday afternoon.
�Both athletes are very special and talented. He [Korir] was the best candidate for our league and would most likely do very well other top conferences as well,� head coach Mika Laaksonen stated. �A lot of work goes into these things and Tobi worked incredibly hard over these past two years and she absolutely deserves this award, they both do.�
Korir ran a world best 1:14.97 in the 600m earlier this year at the New Mexico Cherry & Silver meet, which was his first race on an indoor 200m banked track. The freshman followed that up by capturing the NCAA title in the 800m (1:47.48) at the same track in Albuquerque, N.M., with a time of 1:47.48. The freshman is one of three athletes in the world to run an outdoor sub-45 400m and a sub-1:44 in the 800m.
The Kenyan native won the NCAA outdoor title in the 800m (1:45.03) and is the first Miner to win both titles in the same year.
Amusan was the leading scorer for the Miners with 25 points at the C-USA Indoor Championships and notched a meet record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.01. The sophomore helped her team win its third consecutive conference title. Amusan qualified to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles where she notched a sixth-place showing.
The outdoor season started with a bang, as she set a school record (12.63) in the 100m hurdles at the UTEP Springtime meet. She followed that with a first-place finish at the 2017 Clyde Little Field Texas Relays in the 100m hurdles, setting a meet record time of 12.72. The Nigerian native scored 24.5 points at the C-USA Outdoor Championships leading the women�s team to its first ever outdoor conference title.
Both athletes were named semifinalists for college track and field�s high individual honor, The Bowerman Award. The women�s three finalists will be announced on Wednesday, June 21 and the men�s finalists will be announced Thursday, June 22.
For more information on UTEP track and field, follow the Miners on Twitter (@UTEPTrack) and on Instagram (uteptrack).
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