Track players from UTEP don't make it to the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Track players from UTEP don’t make it to the NCAA Indoor Championships.

On Friday night, Niesha Burgher and Marissa Simpson of UTEP ran in the preliminary events at The Track at New Balance in Boston, Massachusetts. The event was part of the 2024 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Simpson ran an 8.17 to finish 12th overall and sixth in heat 2 of the women’s 60-meter hurdles prelims. In the women’s 200-meter dash preliminary races, Burgher ran a 22.99 and finished 10th overall and third in heat 2. She was only two spots away from qualifying.

With a time of 7.83, Florida’s Grace Stark won the 60m H. Jasmine Jones of USC came in second with a time of 7.90, and Alia Armstrong of LSU came in third with a time of 7.92. The other eight qualifiers were Aasia Laurencin (7.99) from Michigan, Destiny Huven (8.03) from Arkansas, Aaliyah McCormick (8.04) from Oregon, Rosealee Cooper (8.05) from Mississippi State, and Leah Phillips (8.06) from LSU.

First place in the 200m went to JaMeesia Ford of South Carolina with a time of 22.45. Second place went to Jadyn Mays of Oregon with a time of 22.49, and third place went to Rosey Effiong of Arkansas with a time of 22.51. The other eight qualifiers were Georgia’s Kaila Jackson (22.55), Ole Miss’s McKenzie Long (22.60), Tennessee’s Jacious Sears (22.70), and Arkansas’s Nichisha Pryce (22.79) and Amber Anning (22.90). Anning (22.898) beat Madison Whyte (22.899) of USC for the last spot.

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In 2017, Tobi Amusan was the last UTEP student-athlete to participate at the national level in the 60-meter hurdles. Simpson was the first since then. It had not been done at the indoor championships since Florence Uwakwe in 2016, so Burgher was the first person to do it.

On Saturday, March 16, 2024, the Arizona Spring Break Fiesta will be held in Roy P. Drachman Stadium to kick off the outdoor season. From March 27th to 30th, there are the Texas Relays.

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