Bearcats Blooming at Charlie Thomas Invitational
Feb. 3, 2017


CINCINNATI - To say Alex Bloom was having a good night in competition would be a huge understatement. The junior had a career day in the first four events of the heptathlon to lead the charge for the University of Cincinnati track and field team on the first day of the Charlie Thomas Invitational inside the Gilliam Indoor Complex in College Station, Texas, Friday. The Bearcats women are currently seventh overall in the team scoring with four points (through three of 17 events) while the men have not scored in the team standings as the heptathlon is not final yet.

UC had athletes in only one event Friday as four women competed in the distance medley relay final. The quartet of Marina Wrede, Tiona Lattimore, Vanessa Robinson and Meg Westerheide combined to run 11:57.87 and finish fifth overall. That finish, along with earning four team points, also ranked as the fifth-fastest time in school history. Wrede, a true freshman, led off with the 1,200m run first leg and split 3:38.8 before handing to fellow rookie Lattimore, who split 56.5 in the 400m dash portion. Robinson took the baton for the 800m leg and split 2:19.9 before making way for Westerheide, who anchored the relay with a 5:02.5 split in the mile. The time for this team is just three seconds off the time UC posted at the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships one year ago as that time of 11:54.53 ranks second all-time in program history. All four of the women in the DMR will be back in action Saturday in several individual events.

- 60m Dash (Event #1) - Bloom opened the day on fire with a personal best in the 60m dash, blasting out of the starting blocks to run 7.15 to score 830 points and sat third overall through the opening event. That time betters his previous heptathlon best of 7.37, which stood as the fifth-best in UC heptathlon history. His time today moved him all the way up into a tie for second on the Top 10 chart, equaling the mark his current coach Chris Wineberg ran in 2004 and just 0.02 off the school’s heptathlon record of 7.13 run by Jimmy Mount in 2005.
- Long Jump (Event #2) - A short time after his personal-best 60m dash opener, Bloom took to the long jump runway and wasted no time in popping a huge mark as he moved to the top of the heptathlon standings with a PR of 7.01m (23-00.00). That mark bettered his previous best of 6.76m (22-02.25), which was the third-best in UC heptathlon history. His 7.01m moved him into the top slot on the chart as the first UC athlete to jump 23 feet in a heptathlon competition. After a leap of 6.82m on his second attempt - a mark that would have been a PR if not for his opening jump - Bloom took his third and final attempt and upped his PR as he posted a mark of 7.19m (23-07.25) to collect 859 points and reset his own school heptathlon long jump record just 11 minutes after breaking it.
- Shot Put (Event #3) - Bloom kept it rolling in the shot put as he duplicated his performance from the shot put by tossing a PR in the first round, throwing a mark that would have bettered his previous best heading into the competition and then wrapping things up with his second PR of the event. He opened the third event with a toss of 12.10m (39-08.50) to better his previous best nearly one and one-half feet (1’ 5.50”) and improve the fourth-best mark in school history. After a toss of 11.95m, Bloom closed out the event with another PR, this time chucking the ball out to 12.34m (40-06.00) to become only the fourth UC man to record both a 12-meter and a 40’ toss in heptathlon history. With his 627 points, Bloom slipped to second overall and trailed the leader - Nathan Hite of Texas A&M - by 19 points heading into the high jump and the final event of Day 1.
- High Jump (Event #4) - The final event of the day - perhaps one his strongest - was the high jump and Bloom turned yet another monster performance, this time climbing over 2.10m (6-10.25) to grab 896 big points and etch his name once again in the record books. After waiting for a higher height to enter the competition, Bloom came in at 1.92m and was able to clear his first five heights on his first attempt at each. He didn’t register a miss in the event until 2.13m (6-11.75) came around with the junior nearly clearing the highest bar of his career on the third attempt. Despite missing out on the bigger clearance, Bloom still tied his all-time indoor PR and bettered his heptathlon PR at the same time. He now ranks tied for seventh on the school’s all-time high jump list and now holds the record in the heptathlon high jump. With the clearance, he also moved ahead of the field in the overall standings by 172 points heading into the final day of action on Saturday.
- Day One Scoring - Thanks to four PRs in as many events on the day, Bloom tallied 3,212 points to take a 172-point lead over the rest of the field through the first day with three events remaining Saturday. Historically, Bloom’s point total is a school record for Day 1 scoring, surpassing his coach, Chris Wineberg, who previously held the mark at 3,060 points. Bloom is primed to score over 5,000 points for the first time in his career and become just the fourth man to break the 5,000-point barrier.

The Charlie Thomas Invitational continues Saturday.

2017 Charlie Thomas Invitational - Day 1 (2/3/17)
Women’s Results
Distance Medley Relay
5. Cincinnati - 11:57.87 - UC #5
        Wrede (3:38.8), Lattimore (56.5), V. Robinson (2:19.9), Westerheide (5:02.5)

Men’s Results
Heptathlon - Day 1 Scoring (4 Events)
1. Alex Bloom - 3,212 points - UC Hep RECORD

Event #1 - 60m Dash
3. Alex Bloom - 7.15 [830 pts] - PR & UC Hep #2 (tie)

Event #2 - Long Jump
1. Alex Bloom - 7.19m (23-07.25) [859 pts] - PR & UC Hep RECORD

Event #3 - Shot Put
5. Alex Bloom - 12.34m (40-06.00) [627 pts] - PR & UC Hep #4

Event #4 - High Jump
1. Alex Bloom - 2.10m (6-10.25) [896 pts] - PR, =UC #7(t) & UC Hep Record