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Sean Bailey’s stellar UTEP career ends in heartbreak at NCAA National Championships

EUGENE, Oregon - Sean Bailey's UTEP career didn't end the way he wanted it to, but he can keep his head held high knowing his name will live forever in the Miners' record books as well as knowing his sprinting career is far from over.

Bailey did not finish in the Men's 400m NCAA National Championship final Friday, as he pulled up within seconds of the starting horn grabbing his hamstring in pain.

Regardless, Bailey wraps up his final season in a Miner uniform as a second-team All-American.

"Not a perfect way to end this championship for us," UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. "Sean didn't get far in the 400 final before he had to pull up due to a hamstring injury. It's unfortunate since he is in the best shape of his life and ready to run accordingly. His last race for us is not the way any coach wants to see a student-athlete close out their senior campaign, but Sean had a great season and we are proud of his accomplishments as well as his leadership."

Bailey, a native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, now turns his attention to the upcoming Olympic trials for his native country.

In the Men's Discus Final freshman Aleks Hristov of Bulgaria posted a 54.32m (178-02) mark in the men's discus finals on his first throw, his best of his three attempts.

Hristov finished in 17th out of 24 participants to generate major momentum heading into his sophomore campaign.

"Our true freshman Aleks did well just to get this far during his first season with us," Laaksonen said. "He opened up well in the men's discus final, but was not able to improve with his second and third throw to make the final round. This experience will serve him well in the future and we will hear a lot more of this young athlete before his collegiate career is done."

Elsewhere in UTEP's showings throughout the week, pole vaulter and El Paso native Paulo Benavides earned first-team All-American honors after placing seventh in the national event.

Sophomore Roosa Yloenen competed for the Miners in the Javelin.

The track and field team sent seven student-athletes to represent UTEP at nationals, the most since the 2017 season. 

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Nate Ryan

Nate Ryan is an ABC-7 sports anchor/reporter.


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