T&F Captures Four Individual Titles on Opening Day of the American
Feb. 24, 2017

CINCINNATI - The first day of competition at the 2017 American Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships came to a close Friday night inside the CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala., with four members of the University of Cincinnati program capturing individual titles, including three from the women and one from the men. Overall, the Bearcats combined to record 31 personal-best marks while posting 27 marks that rank among the program’s all-time Top 10, including six school records.

// TEAM STANDINGS
Through the first six scored events, the UC women currently lead the team standings with 48 points with UCF trailing behind with 33 points. The Top 6 is rounded out by a close race among four teams that are separated by six points, including UConn (27), Houston (26), Tulane (23) and SMU (21). The rest of the women’s standings include East Carolina (15), Memphis (12), Temple (11), South Florida (10) and Tulsa (8).

In the men’s standings, the Bearcats scored 15 points through the five event finals and sit in sixth place. Tulsa leads the way with 50 points while Houston (37), UConn (32.5), South Florida (25.5) and East Carolina (20.0) rounding out the Top 5. Memphis is seventh with 13 points.

// FOUR CHAMPIONS CROWNED
Three women and one man earned individual titles for the Bearcats with Adrian Valles leading the way as he remained undefeated in conference meets over his UC career by taking the gold for the third year in a row at the American indoor meet. His clearance of 5.60m (18-04.50) not only won the meet, but also broke the UC, meet and facility record at the same time. It is the third time he broke the school record this season and is now ranked third in the NCAA.

On the women’s side, Annette Echikunwoke continued her dominance in the weight throw as she recorded a trio of tosses of over 22 meters to easily win the competition, finishing with a top mark of 22.69m (74-05.50) to not only successfully defend her title from one year ago, but also broke the school record for the third time this year while also smashing the conference and facility records. Her mark betters her nation-leading standing on the year and improves her No. 8 position on the world list.

Staying in the field, Kellsa Mbah had a huge day on the long jump runway as she captured her first conference crown by taking home the event with a best of 6.09m (19-11.75), the second-best leap in school history. Mbah, who ran a huge personal-best of 7.52 in the preliminary round of the 60m dash just prior to the long jump, improved her PR for the third time this season to captured 10 big team points as well.

In the pentathlon, Naomi Urbano entered the meet with the top score in the conference and ended the meet the same way as she scored 3,710 points to win her first conference title and post the fourth-best score in school history. Urbano opened the day with a PR in the 60m hurdles with her time of 9.24 standing as the 10th-best time in UC pentathlon history. After solid marks in the high jump and shot put, where she was second in both, Urbano came back and jumped to 5.40m (17-08.75) in the long jump, which ranks her eighth on the school’s pentathlon list, before she closed by winning the 800m run in 2:24.84, the fourth-fastest in UC pentathlon history. Her title also marked the first pentathlon crown for the Bearcats as members of the American and the first since Jasmine Cotten won in 2012.

// BLOOM GOES OFF AGAIN
Less than one month ago, Alex Bloom had a sensational heptathlon competition in Texas, recording personal-best after personal-best. Friday, he picked-up right where he left off as he jumped out to another big day of scoring. Overall, his 3,299 points tabulated on Day One is a school record and came on the strength a pair of marks that also stand as school records. He opened the day with a time of 7.06 in the 60m dash that broke a 12 year-old school record (Jimmy Mount, 2005, 7.13) to start the day before nearly equaling his PR in the long jump with a mark of 7.13m (23-04.75). In the shot put, he hit a big toss of 12.55m (41-02.25) to move up to third on the all-time chart before putting on a huge show in the high jump. Bloom’s high jump performance captivated the crowd as he cleared 2.16m (7-01.00), breaking the 7-foot barrier for the first time. That mark broke a bevy of records, including the school’s heptathlon high jump record, the all-time school high jump record, the conference meet record and the facility record.

// MOVING ON
Several events contested Friday were the preliminary round races to decide on whom would advance to the finals being raced Saturday. The women saw three of its four entrants advance in the 400m dash while both entrants in the 60m hurdles also advanced while the men advanced four individuals, including two in the 400m dash and one each in the 60m hurdles and the 800m run.

For the women, the trio of Haisha Bisiolu (55.27), Bryana Robinson (55.41) and Tiona Lattimore (56.00) qualified third, fifth and seventh, respectively, for the eight-lane 400m dash final while Aliya Barnes (8.64) and Juliana Puopolo (8.84) qualified fifth and eighth, respectively, in the hurdles. On the men’s side, Jimmy Brooks (47.41) was the top qualifier in the men’s 400m dash with Jaashir Morris (49.01) qualifying sixth. Michael Vitucci was the fourth qualifier in the 800m run (1:53.89) while Kelvin Williams qualified seventh in the hurdles at 8.40.

// WOMEN’S RESULTS
- Along with the three women’s champions, four other individuals and one relay also chipped in points toward the team total. In the long jump, Irati Mitxelena placed fourth to score five points as she jumped to 5.93m (19-05.50), the fourth-best mark in school history while Brooke Catherine cleared 3.82m (12-06.25) to finish fifth overall in the pole vault to grab four points. In the pentathlon, the team grabbed 17 total points as Urbano’s 10 points were combined with Maggie Loeffler’s five points after placing fourth overall (3,428 points) while Katie Straus finished seventh overall (3,337 points) to add two team points. The distance medley relay team of Vanessa Robinson, Sylvana Ross, Sammy Hentz and Meg Westerheide combined to run 11:56.78 and finish seventh overall to grab two team points while their time also ranks as the fifth-fastest in school history.
- Bisiolu was not done after the 400m as she came back and ran 24.37 to place 12th in the 200m dash, a time that ranks her sixth all-time in UC history.
- The pentathlon also saw four other marks recorded on the day that rank among the program’s all-time Top 10 in the multi-events. Angelica Lightfoot recorded two of those marks as she now stands fifth in the 60m hurdles after running 9.04 before jumping 5.28m (17-04.00) in the long jump for the 10th-best mark leap. The remaining two marks game in the 60m hurdles as Straus now ranks fourth at 8.94 and Maggie Loeffler seventh at 9.09.

// MEN’S RESULTS
- Along with Valles, the men collected team points in two more events on the day. Macklin Tudor placed sixth overall in the weight throw with a personal-best toss of 18.23m (59-09.75), which also stands as the fourth-best mark in school history, to score three points in the event while the distance medley relay finished seventh overall in 10:34.59 to add two points to the team total. The relay team was comprised of Nick Grismer, Ryan Greene, Jarrod Hart and Michael Vitucci.
- Dan Huben finished 11th overall in the 5,000m run as he turned in a time of 14:53.93 to lower his personal-best by three seconds and move onto the all-time Top 10 chart at No. 10.
- Ben Wollenslegel recorded three marks that now rank in the Top 10 of the heptathlon as his 2,856 points scored on Day One are now the fourth-best in program history. He also jumped 6.80m (22-03.75) for the fourth-best long jump mark before throwing 11.43m (37-06.00) for the sixth-best heptathlon shot put mark.

The Championships will conclude Saturday in Birmingham with the finals of all remaining events and the crowing of both team champions.

2017 The American Championships - Day 1 (2/24/17)
Women’s Results
60m Dash - Prelims
10. Kellsa Mbah - 7.52 - PR & UC t-#2

60m Hurdles - Prelims
5. Aliya Barnes - 8.64 - qualified
8. Juliana Puopolo - 8.84 - qualified

200m Dash - Prelims
12. Haisha Bisiolu - 24.37 - PR & UC #6
14. Bryana Robinson - 24.39
15. Tiona Lattimore - 24.49

400m Dash - Prelims
3. Haisha Bisiolu - 55.27 - qualified - PR & UC #6
5. Bryana Robinson - 55.41 - qualified
7. Tiona Lattimore - 56.00 - qualified - PR & UC #7
16. Deanna Gesicki - 57.72

800m Run - Prelims
9. Meg Westerheide - 2:13.42

Mile Run - Prelims
13. Marina Wrede - 5:10.08

5,000m Run - FINAL
27. Juliana Madzia - 18:09.98

Distance Medley Relay - FINAL
7. Cincinnati - 11:56.78 - UC #5 - 2 points
      V. Robinson (3:34.7), Ross (57.3), Hentz (2:20.4), Westerheide (5:03.7)

Long Jump - FINAL
1. Kellsa Mbah - 6.09m (19-11.75) - CHAMPION - PR & UC #2 - 10 points
4. Irati Mitxelena - 5.93m (19-05.50) - PR & UC #4 - 5 points

Pole Vault - FINAL
5. Brooke Catherine - 3.82m (12-06.25) - 4 points
13. Lily Bunse - 3.67m (12-00.50)
14. Sadie Brass - 3.67m (12-00.50)

Weight Throw - FINAL
1. Annette Echikunwoke - 22.69m (74-05.50) - Repeat CHAMPION - PR, UC RECORD, Meet Record, Facility Record - 10 points
15. Nicole Breeden - 16.34 (53-07.70)
17. Alexis Gray - 15.47m (50-09.25) - PR
21. Ashley Williams - 13.47m (44-02.50)

Pentathlon - FINAL
1. Naomi Urbano - 3,710 points - CHAMPION - PR & UC #4 - 10 points
4. Maggie Loeffler - 3,428 points - PR & UC #8 - 5 points
7. Katie Straus - 3,337 points - 2 points
10. Angelica Lightfoot - 3,293 points - PR

Pentathlon Event #1 - 60m Hurdles
2. Katie Straus - 8.94 [922] - PR & UC Pent #4
5. Angelica Lightfoot - 9.04 [902] - PR & UC Pent #5
7. Maggie Loeffler - 9.09 [891] - PR & UC Pent #7
9. Naomi Urbano - 9.24 [860] - PR & UC Pent #10

Pentathlon Event #2 - High Jump
2. Naomi Urbano - 1.66m (5-05.25)[806]
t3. Maggie Loeffler - 1.63m (5-04.25)[771]
t6. Katie Straus - 1.57m (5-01.75)[701]
t9. Angelica Lightfoot - 1.54m (5-00.50)[666]

Pentathlon Event #3 - Shot Put
1. Angelica Lightfoot - 11.44m (37-06.50)[624]
2. Naomi Urbano - 11.28m (37-00.25)[614]
5. Maggie Loeffler - 10.13m (33-03.00)[538] - PR
10. Katie Straus - 8.84m (29-00.00)[454]

Pentathlon Event #4 - Long Jump
3. Naomi Urbano - 5.40m (17-08.75)[671] - PR & UC Pent #8
5. Angelica Lightfoot - 5.28m (17-04.00)[637] - PR & UC Pent #10
t10. Maggie Loeffler - 5.11m (16-09.25)[589] - PR
t10. Katie Straus - 5.11m (16-09.25)[589]

Pentathlon Event #5 - 800m Run
1. Naomi Urbano - 2:24.84 [759] - PR & UC Pent #4
5. Katie Straus - 2:31.74 [671]
7. Maggie Loeffler - 2:34.40 [639]
12. Angelica Lightfoot - 2:49.99 [464]

Team Standings (6 events scored)
1. CINCINNATI - 48
2. UCF - 33
3. UConn - 27
4. Houston - 26
5. Tulane - 23
6. SMU - 21
7. East Carolina - 15
8. Memphis - 12
9. Temple - 11
10. South Florida - 10
11. Tulsa - 8

Men’s Results
60m Dash - Prelims
15. Khalid Fuller - 7.09
      Mykel Chambers - false start

60m Hurdles - Prelims
7. Kelvin Williams - 8.40 - qualify

200m Dash - Prelims
12. Jimmy Brooks - 21.89

400m Dash - Prelims
1. Jimmy Brooks - 47.41 - qualify
6. Jaashir Morris - 49.01 - qualify
11. Halen Witcher - 49.33
13. Kevin Konkoly - 49.57

800m Run - Prelims
4. Michael Vitucci - 1:53.89 - qualify
12. Logan Baker - 1:55.94

5,000m Run - FINAL
11. Dan Huben - 14:53.93 - PR & UC #10
13. Seamus Collins - 15:12.16

Distance Medley Relay - FINAL
7. Cincinnati - 10:34.59 - 2 points
      Grismer (3:11.5), Greene (49.5), Hart (1:58.6), Vitucci (4:34.8)

Long Jump - FINAL
10. Sergio Acera - 6.99m (22-11.25)

Pole Vault - FINAL
1. Adrian Valles - 5.60m (18-04.50) - Three-Peat CHAMPION - PR, Meet Record & UC Record - 10 points

Weight Throw - FINAL
6. Macklin Tudor - 18.23m (59-09.75) - PR & UC #4 - 3 points
12. Chris Province - 15.81m (51-10.00) - PR
15. John Zedella - 14.63m (48-00.00)

Heptathlon - Day 1 Scoring (4-of-7 events completed)
1. Alex Bloom - 3,299 points - PR & UC Hep Record
6. Ben Wollenslegel - 2,856 points - PR & UC #4

Heptathlon Event #1 - 60m Dash
2. Alex Bloom - 7.06 [861] - PR & UC Hep Record
11. Ben Wollenslegel - 7.44 [732]

Heptathlon Event #2 - Long Jump
3. Alex Bloom - 7.13m (23-04.75)[845]
7. Ben Wollenslegel - 6.80m (22-03.75)[767] - PR & UC Hep #4

Heptathlon Event #3 - Shot Put
5. Alex Bloom - 12.55m (41-02.25)[640] - PR & UC Hep #3
11. Ben Wollenslegel - 11.43m (37-06.00)[572] - PR & UC Hep #6

Heptathlon Event #4 - High Jump
1. Alex Bloom - 2.16m (7-01.00)[953] - PR, UC Record, UC Hep Record, Meet Hep Record, Facility Hep Record
3. Ben Wollenslegel - 1.98m (6-06.00)[785]

Team Standings (5 events scored)
1. Tulsa - 50.0
2. Houston - 37.0
3. UConn - 32.5
4. South Florida - 25.5
5. East Carolina - 20.0
6. CINCINNATI - 15.0
7. Memphis - 13.0