Over the last weeks and months, most of our attention has been focused on conference expansion, football and basketball. But, now it's time to give other sports their due. This edition of the dig will focus on the UTEP spring and summer sports including softball, track and field, and golf. Have a read.
AROUND MINER NATION
The UTEP softball team completed the 2012 slate last week with a three game series against the New Mexico Lobos. The Miners took the first two contests, 10-7 and 11-8, and dropped the final contest 14-7. UTEP finished the season with a 16-37 mark, and will miss out on the Conference USA championships.
The Miners did have some bright spots throughout the season, but just never seemed to get things going. One of the biggest highlights of the season, was the performance of senior C/UT Camilla Carrera. Carrera, who is a 3 time All C-USA first team selection, and a former C-USA player of the year, belted 32 home runs on the season, good for first nationally. She had a total of 66 RBIs on the season, and finished with an .447 batting average. Congrats on a fantastic season.
Also, senior C/UT Chelsea Troupe was recently named to the Conference USA All Academic Team. Troupe was one of five seniors name to the 11 player squad. Troupe maintained a 3.42 GPA, while starting every game for the Miners. On the season, she held a .426 batting average, had 19 home runs, and 44 RBIs. Congratulations to Chelsea Troupe on the great achievement.
UTEP seniors Endurance Abinuwa and Matt Dudley were both named the Conference USA track and field athletes of the week on Monday. In her first 400M race of the season, Abinuwa finished first, posting the 19th best time in the nation (52.85) at the 2012 Texas Tech Red Raider Open.
Dudley, a discuss thrower from El Paso, tossed his best throw of the season at the Red Raider Open, with a mark of 53.78M. That toss gave him a ranking of 57th nationally, and puts him into first place in the C-USA performance list heading into this weekend's conference championships.
Those conference championships will take place this weekend, May 11th through the 13th in New Orleans, LA. UTEP junior sprinter Anthony Wright leads the men's team as the no. 1 seed in the 100M after posting a time of 10.29 at the UTEP Invitational. Wright has already claimed the gold in the 60M at the 2012 Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, and will also be participating in the 200M, and the 4 x 100M.
The UTEP women are led by senior distance runner Kathya Garcia, who will be taking part in her final C-USA championships this weekend. Garcia posted a season's best 16:31.69 in the 5000M at the Drake Relays, good for 4th. She will take part in both the 5000M and 10000M at the conference championships. Good luck to all Miner athletes participating in the C-USA championships.
UTEP freshman Martin Simonsen has earned the right to take part in the individual portion of the 2012 NCAA Golf Championships. First up is the regional round at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, OK. The C-USA freshman of the year will join Nevada's Kevin Lucas, Stephen F. Austin's Mitchell McLeroy, Nebraska's Scott Willman, and Arkansas Little Rock's Alfred Kerstis. The low individual in the regional round will move on to the NCAA finals May 29-June 3 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. On the season, Simonsen held a 72.3 scoring average. Good luck to Martin as he heads into the individual competition at the NCAAs.
AROUND CONFERENCE USA
The biggest story around Conference USA right now is the news that the conference will add at least 5 members for the 2013 season. Over the past weeks, news broke that the UT Board of Regents were set to give UTSA the ability to accept a C-USA invite. Since then, the floodgates have been opened.
It was then found out that North Texas, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, and Charlotte would be joining the conference along with UTSA. Initial word also had it that Old Dominion would be the member to get the conference to 14 teams, but the school later said they were still considering. If ODU is to decline, Middle Tennessee St. would presumably take their place.
In case you've been under a rock for the last weeks, here are some links to articles we did here at the Rush, covering the conference's expansion.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
One of the biggest stories around college athletics over the last few days is the resignation of Big East commissioner John Marinatto. To most, Marinatto has done a pretty good job of keeping the conference as relevant as possible, considering all the defections, but apparently some of the basketball members of the conference weren't as pleased with the job he's done. Whatever the case, Marinatto is out, and the Big East will now be looking for a new commish to take them into a new era in the Big East Conference.