WTAMU track and field teams see top five finishes at NCAA Division II national indoor meet

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The WTAMU men’s track and field team placed fourth at the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships hosted by Pittsburg State. [Brooke Alverson/ WTAMU athletics]
Both the West Texas A&M men and women’s track team came back with plenty of hardware from the NCAA Division II national indoor championships held at Pittsburg State University over the weekend.

The men’s team took fourth overall while the women finished fifth.

WTAMU did have one national champion on the women’s side as Florance Uwajeneza became an individual national champion taking first place in the 5,000-meter race.

Uwajeneza beat Adams State All-American Briana Robles for the first time in her career to claim the national championship title in the 5,000-meter race. Uwajeneza was step-in-step with Robles throughout the 12.5 lap race.

On the second to last lap, Uwajeneza made her move to go past the Adams State team of three and break away from the pack for a 15-yard lead.

The senior then went into a full out sprint for the last two laps to finish just 10 yards ahead of the rest. This is the first time in Uwajeneza’s career that she took on the Adams State star and defeated her.

The Lady Buffs placed fourth at the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships hosted by Pittsburg State. [Brooke Alverson/ WTAMU athletics]

The Lady Buffs round out the top five with 39 points while first place Adams State had 67 points. Host, and second place, Pitt State had 64.5 points, Minnesota State in third had 54 and Grand Valley in fourth had 48 points.

The distance squad shined on both days of the meet earning a combined 22 points from the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter.

Along with Uwajeneza was senior Eleonora Curtabbi and freshman Sarah Koomson in the race. The distance Lady Buffs took 4-5-6 in the race with Curtabbi leading the trio and running 9:26.26. Uwajeneza ran a season best in fifth place at 9:27.29 and Koomson ran a personal best 9:27.49. This group now owns every single 3,000-meter top-10 indoor time for the Lady Buffs with the “slowest” being 9:30.09.

Curtabbi brought in five points, Uwajeneza had four plus her 10 from the day before when she became the national champion in the 5,000-meter and Koomson supplied three points.

Graduate student Corrssia Perry brought in five points as she made the podium in both the 200-meter and 400-meter. Perry ran both races within an hour of each other. In the 400m, she took fifth in 54.36 seconds as the second race of the day for her. In the 200-meter she ran 24.36 seconds for a team point. Perry added two, two-time All-American honors at this indoor meet.

Graduate student Miriam Zanovello placed fifth in the triple jump for her season best jumping 12.65m (41’6) in the finals. Zanovello made the top eight with her second jump being her best in the outcome. This jump became her season best and garnered the Lady Buffs four points.

On the men’s side, Pittsburg State took first with 69 points, Grand Valley State with 56.5 points, Adams State with 55 points then West Texas A&M with 37 points.

There were five scored events on day two of the Indoor National Championship with the most points scored in the 60-meter dash from sophomore Isaac Botsio.

Botsio was one of nine in the race that saw him running against a tight railing next to the fans. He went on to place second finishing in 6.67 seconds, despite the running conditions, and scored eight team points for the Buffs.

Following up with five points was junior distance runner Prince Mcabelo in the 800-meter. Mcabelo ran a personal best time of 1 minute, 49.1 seconds marking the first time he has broken the 1 minute, 50 second barrier. He took fourth overall. Overall, Mcabelo scored the most points for the Buffs as he was a part of the distance medley relay that brought in 8 points on day one of the championships. Mcabelo’s total was 13 points for the Buffs.

Hamdi Ali finished fifth in the high jump hitting a 2.16m (7’1) height and brought in four team points. Ali has been in three back-to-back-to-back national championships where he has scored points for the Buffs in each championship.

William Amponsah scored six total points for the Buffs with three a piece coming from the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter. Amponsah took sixth in each event while shattering the 3,000-meter WT record in 8 minutes, 2.6 seconds tonight. The record was previously set by Owen Hind in 2017.

Troy Whyte gained two points in the 60-meter hurdles coming in seventh.

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