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CUSA names UTEP’s Belik, Burgher, Woodley track & field athletes of the year

utep track athlete honor 1
Photo Courtesy: UTEP Athletics

(Courtesy: UTEP Athletics)

DALLAS, Texas - UTEP took three of the six 2024 Conference USA Track & Field Superlative awards.

Jakub Belik (Men’s Field Athlete of the Year), Niesha Burgher (Women’s Track Athlete of the Year) and Jordani Woodley (Male Track Athlete of the Year) earned those honors as announced by league officials on Tuesday.

Belik competed at the NCAA National Championships in the high jump for a second consecutive season in Eugene, Ore.

The junior leaped a personal-best 2.20 meters (7-2.5) at the NCAA West First Round in Fayetteville, Ark., to advance to historic Hayward Field.

Belik was named the CUSA Outdoor Male Field Performer of the Meet as he captured gold in the high jump and triple jump at the CUSA Championships at Kidd Field.

The native of Jaromer, Czech Republic, scored 20 points at the championships as the Miners finished in second place.

Belik, a back-to-back outdoor CUSA high jump champion, leaped 2.15 meters (7-0.5) to capture gold.

Belik won another gold medal, this time in the triple jump with a 14.87m (48-9.5). It was his first time doing the triple jump since high school.

Belik has won four consecutive gold medals at the CUSA Championships (two indoor/two outdoor).

Burgher earned NCAA second team All-American honors in the indoor and outdoor 200-meter dash.

Burgher most recently saw action in the 200 and 4x4 at the NCAA Championships.

She clocked in a 22.48 (2.7) at the NCAA West Prelims to advance to Eugene before finishing 10th overall at Nationals.

She was also part of the record-setting 4x400-meter relay team that turned in a school-record 3:33.02 at the West Prelims.

Burgher was also named the CUSA Women’s Outdoor Track Performer of the Meet, amassing 25 points and four gold medals at the outdoor championships at Kidd Field.

She took gold in the 100-meter dash with a meet record, personal standard and school-record 11.06.

The senior sprinter won gold in the 200-meter dash with a meet record, personal best and school-record 22.44.

The native of Saint Thomas, Jamaica, ran the second leg of the 4x100-meter relay, clocking in a 44.68 to win gold.

The multi-talented Burgher then anchored the 4x400-meter relay squad that clocked in a 3:35.68 to win another gold medal.

Burgher is the second ever to win back-to-back in both indoor and outdoor since Rice’s Cali Roper did so in 2015 and 2016.

Prior to the outdoor season starting, Burgher made her way to Boston, Mass., for the 2024 NCAA Indoor championships.

Burgher clocked in a 22.97 at the CUSA ITF Championships in Lynchburg, Va., to capture gold and advance to nationals where she finished 10th overall on Feb. 8.

Burgher was named the CUSA Women’s Indoor Track Performer of the Meet on March 5.

Woodley competed at the NCAA Championships in the 110-meter hurdles for the first time during his career.

The junior clocked in a personal-best and school-record 13.41 at the NCAA West First Round followed by a 13.29 (2.7) in the quarterfinals to advance to his first career Nationals.

The Hanover, Jamaica, native took silver in the 60-meter hurdles and 4x4 at the CUSA ITF Championships.

Woodley placed third overall in the 110 hurdles at the Texas Relays, while he clocked in a personal-best 7.73 placing first in the 60H at the UNM Team Open.


FIU’s Michaelle Valentin was named the CUSA Women’s Field Athlete of the Year to round out the Athletes of the Year honors.

WKU’s junior sprinter Brunel Desinor was named the CUSA Men’s Newcomer of the Year, while Liberty’s mid-distance runner Katelyn Locker was the Women’s Newcomer of the Year.

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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