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National Championships: UTEP’s Sean Bailey qualifies for final in 400m run; rough day for pole vaulter Paulo Benavides

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UTEP Athletics
UTEP's Sean Bailey poses for a photo at the NCAA Track & Field Championships

EUGENE, Oregon - The UTEP Miners began their quest for gold Wednesday at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Seven Miners qualified for nationals and will compete in a total of five events over the next three days.

On Wednesday, four of those Miners took to the track on day one of the national meet.

In the 400 meter run, UTEP's Sean Bailey finished in third place in his heat with a time of 45.74.

Even though he barely missed securing one of the two automatic qualifiers in his heat, Bailey's time was still a top finish, placing him 8th in the field.

He'll compete Friday in the 400 meter run final, the first time a Miner has ever qualified for the final in the event since 1983.

Bailey's day was just getting started as later in the day he competed in the 4X400 meter relay along with teammates, Kevin Hewitt, Joshua Hill and Jevaughn Powell.

The Miners started the race strong, but on the first handoff of the relay, Hill would fall to the ground on his handoff to Hewitt and the Miners fell behind in last place.

The Miners didn't finish the race and failed to qualify for the final in the event.

In the pole vault competition, UTEP's Paulo Benavides was looking to cap off his college career with a national title.

Benavides started the competition on the right foot clearing his first attempt of 17ft, 4 1/2 inches.

He struggled when the crossbar was raised to 17ft, 10 1/2 inches as Benavides would fail to clear that height in all three of his attempts.

Benavides would end the competition tied for 7th place.

The competition continues Thursday when UTEP's Roosa Yloenen will compete in the javelin event.

Friday, UTEP's Aleks Hristov will compete in the discus, followed by Bailey's attempt to bring home the gold in the final of 400 meter run.

Sports / Texas Sports
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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.

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