March 1, 2014
The University of Cincinnati track & field programs combined for two individual titles, 11 top-eight finishes and eight personal records on the final day of the American Indoor Track & Field Championships. Both teams finished seventh overall.
Sophomore Erika Hurd gave UC an early boost in the high jump as she recorded a new personal-best of 5’ 10.75” and became the third Bearcat to win the event indoors. The Manchester, Md. native didn’t miss a bar until the winning height, but it took a rare four attempts to claim the victory as a jump off with Courtney Anderson of USF was needed to decide the champion. Hurd took advantage of the extra opportunity and soared over the bar, and Anderson missed for a fourth time.
Senior Darnell Gilbert came into the conference meet with the fourth fastest time in the 400-meter dash, but entering Saturday’s final, he had run the fastest time in the prelims. The Cincinnati native sat in third with less than 100 meters to go, but he made his move on the corner to propel him to the front of the heat and across the finish line in a time of 48.04. With the victory, he became UC’s first 400m indoor conference champion.
The 400-meter dash was also a highlight for the women as sophomore Kenya Woodall came in fourth place, respectively. Her time of 54.07 breaks her own school record that she had set in the prelims on Friday.
Junior Bryan Cain had a career day in the 60-meter hurdles as he ran a personal-best time of 7.95 to claim third. The Middletown, Ohio native now ranks third in UC history just behind a pair of former All-Americans in David Payne and Terrence Somerville.
The women also had success in the 60-meter hurdles as Je’Rica Sanders and Javette Lee each finished in the top five and posted career-best times. Sanders ran 8.49 and tied for third, while Lee crossed the line at 8.50 to earn fifth. Sanders time slides her into sole possession of third in UC’s record book, and Lee jumps into a tie at fourth with Kaylon Eppinger (2009).
Sophomore transfer Macklin Tudor pulled out fourth in the shot put with a toss of 55’ 9”. On the women’s side, junior Mekayla Breland claimed seventh with a hurl of 48’ 2”, which is a new personal record.
Senior Evan Baum also posted a personal-best mark in the 3,000-meter run as he ran 8:23.22 to snatch seventh. His time moves him into fourth on UC's all-time list.
For the weekend, the Bearcats garnered a total of three individual titles, 19 top-eight finishes and 19 personal records.
The teams now wait to see if any athletes will be invited to participate at the NCAA Indoor Championships on Mar. 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.
If no athletes are picked up for the national meet, UC will take a couple weeks to train for the outdoor season. Their first meets are slated for Mar. 21-22 at the Alabama Relays and Central Florida Invitational.