UTRGV Indoor Track & Field wins Seven more WAC Championships to Finish with Nine Titles

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Matute, Cheetham-West and Koech Earn WAC Honors

Yariel Matute Photo Credit: Trevor Fleeman
Yariel Matute Photo Credit: Trevor Fleeman

Texas Border Business

NAMPA, Ida. – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) indoor track & field teams combined to win nine Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships, including seven during the final day of competition at the WAC Championships on Saturday at the Ford Idaho Center.

Additionally, senior Juarez Lincoln alum Yariel Matute earned WAC Male Track Athlete of the Year, senior Idatonye Cheetham-West earned WAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, and freshman Dorcas Koech earned WAC Women’s Freshman of the Year.

Matute was part of two championships, winning the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.54, the sixth-fastest in program history, and winning as part of the 4×400-meter relay team with junior Carlos Serna-Hernandez, freshman Mariano Hernandez, and freshman Brownsville Veterans Memorial alum Max Carmona that finished in 3:15.96. Matute added a second place finish in the 200-meter dash with a program record time of 21.53.

Cheetham-West shattered the program record with a long jump of 6.13 meters, 0.33 meters ahead of her closest competitor and tied for the 37th-best mark in the NCAA entering Saturday’s action. She also finished fourth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.67, the fourth-fastest in program history.

Koech won the 5,000-meter run on Friday in a time of 17:35.77, the second-fastest time in program history, and followed that up with a sixth-place finish in the 3,000-meter run on Saturday in a time of 10:08.49.

Senior Omer Almog earned two titles, winning the mile in a time of 4:15.63, the eighth-fastest in program history, before taking the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:22.71, the second-fastest in program history. Almog earned 20 points for UTRGV, and was joined in the top-eight in the 3,000-meter run by sophomore Abraham Chirchir, who finished second with a time of 8:28.27, the third-fastest in program history, and senior Weslaco East alum Alberto Herrera, who came in eighth with a time of 8:44.47. Chirchir won the 5,000-meter championship on Friday.

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Junior Ashley Hughes won a championship in the 400-meter run, breaking the program record for the second day in a row with a time of 54.66. Senior Destiny Rutherford finished fifth with a time of 57.01, the seventh-fastest in program history. Hughes added a seventh-place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.65.

Sophomore Alexandrea Hurst ran away with the shot put title with a throw of 15.27 meters, the second-best in program history. Freshman Samariae Bonds finished second with a throw of 14.64 meters, the sixth-best in program history and senior Diamond Thomas finished fourth with a mark of 14.24 meters, the 11th-best in program history, as the trio helped UTRGV earn 23 points.

UTRGV recorded its best-ever team finishes, as the men came in second with 138 points. Grand Canyon won the championship with 186 points. The women finished fourth with 98 points. Grand Canyon won the championship with 189.50 points.

UTRGV performed well in the men’s shot put, earning 10 points as junior PSJA Memorial alum Michael Gonzalez finished third with a throw of 16.52 meters, the second-best in program history, Christian Hall-Gardner came in sixth with a mark of 14.63 meters, and sophomore Palmview alum Ricardo Espinoza finished eighth with a throw of 13.97 meters.

Freshman Kyra Keurentjes had a strong showing in the 800-meter dash, setting a new program record with a fourth-place time of 2:13.66.

Keurentjes also teamed with Rutherford, senior Felicia Wills, and freshman Port Isabel alum Natalie Garza for a 4×400-meter relay time of 3:51.44, tied for the third-fastest in program history, to finish third.

Freshman Matthew Salaiz recorded the second-best long jump in program history with a sixth-place distance of 7.08 meters, earning three points. Freshman Yashawn Hamilton earned three points by coming in sixth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.96, tied for the second-fastest in program history. UTRGV earned 12 points in the 800-meter dash as Carmona finished second with a time of 1:5351, and junior La Joya alum Ricardo Mendoza, who came in fifth with a time of 1:55.48. Freshmen Economedes alum Kyle Marroquin grabbed three points by coming in sixth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.47. UTRGV also earned two points in the high jump, as sophomore Nikki Rowe alum Mauricio Campos finished seventh with a height of 1.85 meters.

In total, UTRGV broke four program records. UTRGV has now broken 14 program records and tied one this season.

The NCAA Indoor Championships are set for March 8-9. UTRGV opens the outdoor season on March 15 at the UTSA Invitational.

Team Standings


  1. Grand Canyon 186
  2. UTRGV 138
  3. Utah Valley 136.50
  4. Kansas City 105.50
  5. Chicago State 46
  6. Seattle U 35


  1. Grand Canyon 189.50
  2. New Mexico State 155
  3. Utah Valley 122
  4. UTRGV 98
  5. Kansas City 68
  6. Seattle U 12
  7. CSU Bakersfield 9.50
  8. Chicago State 4

UTRGV Results

Field Events

Women’s Shot Put

1. Alexandrea Hurst, 15.27m (10 points)

•Second-best in program history

2. Samariae Bonds, 14.64m (8 points)

•Sixth-best in program history

4. Diamond Thomas, 14.24m (5 points)

•11th-best in program history

11. Brittany Cantu, 12.29m

13. Taylar Kregness, 11.88m

Women’s Long Jump

1. Idatonye Cheetham-West, 6.13m (10 points)

•Program record

10. Keely Satterfield, 5.29m

13. Dai’ja Coleman, 5.26m

14. Zarrey Sams, 5.20m

16. Eleanor Arndt, 5.17m

25. Kassandra Rocha, 4.77m

Men’s High Jump

7. Mauricio Campos, 1.85m (2 points)

Women’s Pole Vault

10. Ashley Gonzlaez, 2.96m

•Fourth-best in program history

Men’s Shot Put

3. Michael Gonzalez, 16.52m (6 points)

•Second-best in program history

6. Christian Hall-Gardner, 14.63m (3 points)

8. Ricardo Espinoza, 13.97m (1 point)

10. Sky Tatum, 12.84m

Women’s High Jump

12. Marta Vargues, 1.49m

Men’s Long Jump

6. Matthew Salaiz, 7.08m (3 points)

•Second-best in program history

15. Yashawn Hamilton, 6.39m

17. Julian Trevino, 6.00m

Running Events

Men’s Mile Run

1. Omer Almog, 4:15.63 (10 points)

•Eighth-fastest in program history

Men’s 60-Meter Hurdles

6. Kyle Marroquin, 8.47 (3 points)

Women’s 60-Meter Dash

4. Idatonye Cheetham-West, 7.67 (5 points)

•Fourth-fastest in program history

Men’s 60-Meter Dash

6. Yashawn Hamilton, 6.96 (3 points)

•Tied for second-fastest in program history

Women’s 400-Meter Dash

1. Ashley Hughes, 54.66 (10 points)

•Program record

5. Destiny Rutherford, 57.01 (4 points)

•Seventh-fastest in program history

Men’s 400-Meter Dash

1. Yariel Matute, 48.54 (10 points)

•Sixth-fastest in program history

4. Mariano Hernandez, 49.40 (5 points)

Women’s 800-Meter Dash

4. Kyra Keurentjes, 2:13.66 (5 points)

•Program record

Men’s 800-Meter Dash

2. Max Carmona, 1:53.51 (8 points)

5. Ricardo Mendoza, 1:55.48 (4 points)

Women’s 200-Meter Dash

7. Ashley Hughes, 26.65 (2 points)

Men’s 200-Meter Dash

2. Yariel Matute, 21.53 (8 points)

•Program record

Women’s 3,000-Meter Run

6. Dorcas Koech, 10:08.49 (3 points)

20. Bryana Rios, 10:29.44

Men’s 3,000-Meter Run

1. Omer Almog, 8:22.71 (10 points)

•Second-fastest in program history

2. Abraham Chirchir, 8:28.27 (8 points)

•Third-fastest in program history

8. Alberto Herrera, 8:44.47 (1 point)

10. Brian Yanez, 8:45.59

18. Antoine Godin, 9:00.14

Women’s 4×400-Meter Relay

3. Felicia Wills, Kyra Keurentjes, Natalie Garza, Destiny Rutherford, 3:51.44 (6 points)

•Tied for third-fastest in program history

Men’s 4×400-Meter Relay

1. Carlos Serna-Hernandez, Yariel Matute, Mariano Hernandez, Max Carmona, 3:15.96 (10 points)

•Second-fastest in program history

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