Feb. 4, 2017
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati track and field team wrapped upped competition at the Charlie Thomas Invitational on Saturday afternoon with the Bearcats collecting 25 personal bests over the weekend and adding wins in four different events at the meet hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. Alex Bloom and Adrian Valles led the charge with their performances rewriting several record books as Bloom captured the heptathlon crown while Valles moved up the third in the NCAA standings as he captured the pole vault with a meet record clearance.
The meet was a team-scored event and featured several highly regarded teams. The host Aggies won both sides of the meet with the men scoring 151 points and the women 138 points. The Bearcats earned 57 points on the women’ side to finish sixth overall while the men’s 45 points placed them eighth overall.
// WOMEN’S RESULTS
- Loretta Blaut competed for the first time this indoor season and won the high jump as she cleared 1.72m (5-07.75) to open the year. The returning All-American led the way for the two Bearcats in the event with Maggie Loeffler placing sixth overall at 1.58m (5-02.25).
- Annette Echikunwoke joined Blaut as event winners for the UC women as the throws specialist captured the weight throw with a toss of 22.10m (72-06.25) while Nicole Breeden finished eighth at 16.15m (53-00.00). For Echikunwoke, the 22.10m throw marks the second week in a row she won a meet with that exact measurement and now gives the national leader four marks of 22 meters or better so far this season.
- Rookie Tiona Lattimore had an impressive weekend as the freshman, running on a banked track for the first time, had a hand in three all-time Top 10 marks in program history. After helping the DMR run the fifth-best time in UC history one night before, Lattimore took to the track in a pair of individual sprint events and turned in two of the fastest times in program history. First, she finished 11th overall in the 400m dash as she clocked a time of 56.29, which ranks as the ninth-fastest in UC history. She closed the competition with a time of 24.28 in the 200m dash to place 17th overall while recording the fourth-fastest time ever.
- Lattimore’s time in the 200m dash was not only movement in the record book. Bryana Robinson lowered her all-time best time to 24.16 to finish 12th overall and move into the No. 3 slot on the all-time list while Haisha Bisiolu ran a best of 24.46 to finish 23rd and rank seventh on the program’s all-time Top 10.
- Both ladies in the horizontal jumps moved up in the school’s rankings with Kellsa Mbah jumping her way to a tie for No. 2 on the long jump while Irati Mitxelena moved up to No. 3 in the triple jump. First, Mbah placed second overall with a leap of 6.01m (19-08.75), allowing her climb from third to a tie for second all-time. Next, Mitxelena placed sixth overall in the triple jump as she hit a mark of 12.01m (39-05.00), which makes her just the third UC woman ever to record a leap of 12 meters or better.
- A pair of distance runners also added their names to the record books for the second time this weekend after both Meg Westerheide and Marina Wrede helped the DMR to the No. 5 time one night before. On Saturday, Wrede opened the day for the distance runners as she placed 18th overall in the mile run, finishing in 5:09.09, which is the No. 10 mark in UC history, surpassing the previous time of 5:09.19. Later in the day, Westerheide raced to a time of 2:14.04 to place seventh in the 800m run and record the eighth-fastest time in program history. Vanessa Robinson, the third member of the distance corps on the DMR, also competed in the mile and ran an 8-second PR, finishing in 5:10.34.
- For the second week in a row, Alexis Gray threw a PR in the shot put and, for the second week in a row, added her name to a select group. Her ninth-pace toss of 14.04m (46-00.75) not only ranks as the eighth-best toss in UC history, it also makes her just the eighth woman to record a mark of 46 feet or better. Ashley Williams finished fourth in the shot put with a best of 14.75m (48-04.75).
// MEN’S RESULTS
- Bloom closed out the heptathlon with three more impressive results on Day 2, just missing out on a school record, but setting himself up nicely to possibly earn a berth into the national meet, which will be held at Texas A&M in early March. Bloom led all day and finished with 5,604 points to move into the Top 12 nationally while also taking over the No. 2 position in UC history, just 12 points off the record. Bloom became just the second UC man to surpass 5,600 points and did so with a gritty effort. He opened with a tie of 8.68 in the 60m hurdles to set a heptathlon PR and program’s No. 3 heptathlon time in the event. He then cleared 4.55m (14-11.00) in the pole vault for another heptathlon PR and the fourth-best heptathlon pole vault mark in UC history. Heading into the 1,000m run, he needed a time of 2:45.80 to tie the school record. Bloom took it out and tried his hardest to surpass that time, having to settle for a time of 2:46.78, which was still a PR by nearly nine seconds and the fourth-fastest time in UC heptathlon history. Bloom will have a chance to better all his marks at the conference meet at the end of the month.
- Valles, for the second time this season, took control in the pole vault and won the event with a school and meet record. This time, Valles cleared 5.57m (18-03.25) to win the event and break his own school record of 5.52m set at the Kentucky Invitational. And, just as he did in Kentucky, Valles took a crack at clearing 5.66m, which would have been a life-time best. Despite not clearing that height, Valles did stay undefeated on the year and moved into the Top 5 nationally with that clearance.
- The men’s distance team was represented well in the 3,000m run as both entrants finished in the Top 3. Seamus Collins led the way and nearly won the race, settling for second place with a time of 8:27.38. Just behind him was Dan Huben, who ran a personal-best time of 8:27.90 to finish third overall in the event.
- Jimmy Brooks continues to shine in the sprints for the Bearcats as he held his own with some fast competition. In the 400m dash, Brooks placed fifth overall in 47.39 to record another personal best in the even while moving up to No. 4 on the school’s all-time Top 10. He followed that with a time of 21.62 in the 200m dash to finish 12th overall, finishing just 0.03 seconds off his personal best.
- Macklin Tudor led the men’s throwers in Texas as he finished third in the shot put with a toss of 17.96m (58-11.25), just 2cm off his season best. John Zedella reached the finals in the shot put and place ninth with a toss of 15.21m (49-11.00) after placing 13th in the weight throw earlier in the day (15.32m / 50-03.25).
- Halen Witcher recorded a PR in the 200m dash as he ran 21.95 to finish 17th overall. Jaashir Morris ran 22.20 in the same race after clocking a time of 49.89 in the 400m dash earlier in the day.
The Bearcats will venture to Nashville, Tenn., next weekend to take part in the Music City Challenge hosted by Vanderbilt.
2017 Charlie Thomas Invitational - Day 2 (2/4/17)
13. Kellsa Mbah - 7.62
7. Aliya Barnes - 8.79
10. Juliana Puopolo - 8.91 - PR
3. Aliya Barnes - 8.65
12. Bryana Robinson - 24.16 - PR & UC #3
17. Tiona Lattimore - 24.28 - PR & UC #4
23. Haisha Bisiolu - 24.46 - PR & UC #7
35. Deanna Gesicki - 25.75 - PR
11. Tiona Lattimore - 56.29 - PR & UC #9
12. Bryana Robinson - 56.30
14. Haisha Bisiolu - 56.57
18. Deanna Gesicki - 58.02
7. Meg Westerheide - 2:14.04 - PR & UC #8
18. Marina Wrede - 5:09.09 - PR & UC #10
20. Vanessa Robinson - 5:10.34 - PR
2. Kellsa Mbah - 6.01m (19-08.75) - PR & UC #2(t)
7. Irati Mitxelena - 5.50m (18-00.50)
6. Irati Mitxelena - 12.01m (39-05.00) - PR & UC #3
1. Loretta Blaut - 1.72m (5-07.75)
6. Maggie Loeffler - 1.58m (5-02.25)
7. Brooke Catherine - 3.72m (12-02.50)
-- Lily Bunse - NH
4. Ashley Williams - 14.75m (48-04.75)
9. Alexis Gray - 14.04m (46-00.75) - PR & UC #8
1. Annette Echikunwoke - 22.10m (72-06.25)
8. Nicole Breeden - 16.15m (53-00.00)
Women’s Team Scores - Top 3
1. Texas A&M - 138
2. Baylor - 123
3. Clemson - 97
6. Cincinnati - 57
13. Mykel Chambers - 7.03
10. Kelvin Williams - 8.63
12. Jimmy Brooks - 21.62
17. Halen Witcher - 21.95 - PR
22. Jaashir Morris - 22.20
5. Jimmy Brooks - 47.39 - PR & UC #4
23. Jaashir Morris - 49.89
-- Halen Witcher - DQ
12. Michael Vitucci - 1:53.36
2. Seamus Collins - 8:27.38
3. Dan Huben - 8:27.90 - PR
8. Sergio Acera - 7.02m (23-00.50)
10. Jordan Hardiman - 1.95m (6-04.75)
12. Mike Wood - 1.90m (6-02.75)
1. Adrian Valles - 5.57m (18-03.25) - PR, UC RECORD, MR
3. Macklin Tudor - 17.96m (58-11.25)
9. John Zedella - 15.21m (49-11.00)
13. John Zedella - 15.32m (50-03.25)
Heptathlon - Final Scoring (7 Events)
1. Alex Bloom - 5,604 points - PR & UC #2
Event #5 - 60m Hurdles
5. Alex Bloom - 8.68 [818 pts] - Hep PR & UC Hep #3
Event #6 - Pole Vault
2. Alex Bloom - 4.55m (14-11.00) [775 pts] - Hep PR & UC Hep #4
Event #7 - 1,000m Run
1. Alex Bloom - 2:46.87 [799 pts] - PR & UC Hep #4
Day 2 Scoring (Final 3 Events)
Alex Bloom - 2,392 points - PR & UC Hep #4
Men’s Team Scores - Top 3
1. Texas A&M - 151.0
2. UCLA - 83.5
3. South Plains JC - 72.0
8. Cincinnati - 45.0