Distance Runners Shine on Day One of Music City Challenge
Feb. 11, 2017

NASHVILLE - The first day of competition at the Music City Challenge came to a close inside the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility Friday night with the University of Cincinnati track and field program receiving solid performances in the 5,000m run to lead the Bearcats in Nashville, Tenn. Overall, the five runners that competed in the distance event (three women and two men) all earned personal bests, collecting five of the eight recorded on the day. Along with the 5,000m run, UC received a personal-best in the men’s 200m dash, the men’s high jump and the women’s weight throw.

- The saying ‘save the best for last’ lived up to its billing Friday night as Juliana Madzia, Tessa Ward and Emma Hensley each raced in the 5,000m event with all three recording indoor personal bests. Madzia raced in the fast section and turned in a time of 17:37.90 to finish 20th overall on the night. That time, which misses out on the school’s all-time Top 10 by four seconds, saw her break the 18 minute barrier and lower her personal best by 51.3 seconds. The bests did not stop there, however, as Ward lowered her PR by 12 seconds for the second time this season, running 18:05.85 to finish 31st. Hensley, in her first indoor 5,000m event, ran 18:16.84 to place 34th.
- The weight throw competition saw another huge personal best recorded, but it didn’t come from whom it might have been expected. While Annette Echikunwoke did defeat all collegiate entrants in the event and finished second overall to one professional competitor, it was Nicole Breeden that had the big throw for the Bearcats as she improved her lifetime best by nearly three feet after the ball landed at 17.13m (56-02.50). Not only was that an improvement of 2’ 7.50” for Breeden, it also moved into the all-time Top 10 at UC for the first time in her career and placed her seventh overall as just the seventh Bearcat to break the 17 meter barrier. Echikunwoke finished with a toss of 21.89m (71-10.00) while Ashley Williams also competed, placing 36th overall at 13.04m (42-09.00). Breeden, who placed 22nd overall, entered the meet with a best of 16.33m.
- Loretta Blaut, in just her second meet of the indoor season, tied for sixth in the high jump as the junior cleared 1.67m (5-05.75) before nearly getting over the bar at 1.72m. Katie Straus and Maggie Loeffler both competed in the event, but were unable to clear a height.
- In the triple jump, Irati Mitxelena placed 18th overall as the freshmen posted a best of 11.96m (39-03.00) during the competition. Kellsa Mbah also competed in the event, but was unable to record a fair mark.

- Similar to the women, both Bearcat men that raced in the 5,000m run also turned in personal bests, led by the performance of Dan Huben, who dipped under 15 minutes for the first time. Huben, who finished 20th on the night, ran 14:56.17 to lower his best by 32.28 seconds and record the 11th-fastest time in UC history. Seamus Collins finished 25th in the race with a personal-best time of 15:10.45.
- For the second week in a row, Alex Bloom found success in the high jump as he matched his PR from last weekend with a clearance of 2.10m (6-10.75) to finish third in the competition. Bloom, who finished ahead of the current conference leader in the event, nearly cleared 2.13m after tying his personal best. Jordan Hardiman (1.96m/6-05.00) and Mike Wood (1.91m/6-03.25) also competed in the event, placing in a tie for eighth and tie for 10th, respectively.
- Ryan Greene recorded a PR in the only sprint event for the Bearcats as he placed 40th overall in 22.95, running under 23 seconds for the first time in the 200m dash.
- In the final event of the night, Macklin Tudor posted the top mark for the Bearcats in the weight throw as he was 11th overall at 16.74m (54-11.25). Chris Province finished 23rd overall at 14.83m (48-08.00) while John Zedella was 25th at 14.62m (47-11.75).

Action at the Music City Challenge concludes Saturday.

2017 Music City Challenge - Day 1 (2/10/17)
Women’s Results
5,000m Run
20. Juliana Madzia - 17:37.90 - PR
31. Tessa Ward - 18:05.85 - PR
34. Emma Hensley - 18:16.84 - PR

High Jump
t6. Loretta Blaut - 1.67m (5-05.75)
      Katie Straus - no height
      Maggie Loeffler - no height

Triple Jump
18. Irati Mitxelena - 11.96m (39-03.00)
      Kellsa Mbah - foul

Weight Throw
2. Annette Echikunwoke * - 21.89m (71-10.00)
22. Nicole Breeden - 17.13m (56-02.50) - PR
36. Ashley Williams - 13.04m (42-09.00)
* was top collegiate finisher (overall winner was post-collegiate)

Men’s Results
200m Dash
40. Ryan Greene - 22.95 - PR

5,000m Run
20. Dan Huben - 14:56.17 - PR
25. Seamus Collins - 15:10.45 - PR

High Jump
3. Alex Bloom - 2.10m (6-10.75) - =PR & =UC #7-t
t8. Jordan Hardiman - 1.96m (6-05.00)
t10. Mike Wood - 1.91m (6-03.25)

Weight Throw
11. Macklin Tudor - 16.74m (54-11.25)
23. Chris Province - 14.83m (48-08.00)
25. John Zedella - 14.62m (47-11.75)