T&F: Bearcats Sweep Hammer Throw to Open Nikoloff Open
March 31, 2017


CINCINNATI - Two members of the University of Cincinnati track and field team captured individual titles to pace the Bearcats on the first day of action at the 2017 Oliver Nikoloff Open at Gettler Stadium Friday. The meet, the first of two home events this year for the program, saw Annette Echikunwoke win the women’s hammer while rookie Chris Province took gold in the men’s hammer to lead the way for the Bearcats on Day One.

The 2017 edition of the Nikoloff Open also is a team-scored competition with the first day seeing just two events for each gender being contested and scored. On the men’s side, the Bearcats currently sit in second place with 18 points while Bowling Green leads the way with 20 points. Miami (Ohio) is third with 10 points while Marian (Ind.) is fourth with sixth points and Dayton in fifth with four points.

On the women’s side, the Bearcats hold a slim lead with 19 points while Dayton and Northern Kentucky, both of whom have scored 17 points, sit in a tie for second place. Xavier is the only other team to score in the women’s competition so far and sits fourth overall with 10 points.

Echikunwoke, in her first meet of the outdoor season since capturing the weight throw title at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships three weeks prior, made it look easy as she grab the title in the women’s hammer with a best of 59.08m (193-10). While that mark is under her personal best, she easily won the event, posting a mark that bettered the field by over 21 feet in the process (21-04).

Three other women competed in the hammer as well with two posting personal-best marks and the third with a season best. Nicole Breeden led the way for the trio as she placed fourth overall with a toss of 50.16m (164-06), which sits as a season-best for the senior and just about five feet below her personal best. Behind her in fifth place was Alexis Gray, who set a PR for the second week in a row, this time pushing her best out to 47.67m (156-04), an improvement of 11’ 4” over her best from last week. Also in the event was Ashley Williams, who placed ninth overall with a toss of 38.34m (125-09). That mark also is a personal best, surpassing her top mark from Coffeyville CC last year by 13’ 10”.

The Bearcats sent to men to the ring for the hammer and saw UC go 1-2 in the standings with freshman Province taking the title and fellow classmate Aaron Deaton placing second. Province recorded a best of 47.99m (157-05) to take the crown and better his personal best that he threw last week by 11’ 6” while Deaton hit a mark of 46.70m (153-02) in his first collegiate hammer competition.

// MEN’S 10,000m RUN
Similar to the men’s hammer, the 10,000m run featured two Bearcats with Spencer Clark and Anthony Car taking to the track. After 25.5 laps, Clark edged out Car at the line, finishing the event with a personal-best time of 31:40.88 to place ninth overall. Car also posted a personal-best time, finishing in 31:41.19 to lower his previous best by 20 seconds to place 10th overall.

The Oliver Nikoloff Open wraps up Saturday when all other events are contested. The day opens at 10 a.m. with the women’s javelin at Coy Field and both the women’s pole vault and the men’s discus at Gettler Stadium. The running events get underway at noon with the men’s 3,000m steeplechase.

2017 Oliver Nikoloff Open - Day 1 (3/31/17)
Women’s Results
1. Annette Echikunwoke - 59.08m (193-10)
4. Nicole Breeden - 50.16m (164-06)
5. Alexis Gray - 47.67m (156-04) - PR
9. Ashley Williams - 38.34m (125-09) - PR

Men’s Results
10,000m Run
9. Spencer Clark - 31:40.88 - PR
10. Anthony Car - 31:41.19 - PR

1. Chris Province - 47.99m (157-05) - PR
2. Aaron Deaton - 46.70m (153-02) - PR

2017 Oliver Nikoloff Open - Day 1 (3/31/17)
Women’s Standings
1. Cincinnati - 19
2. Dayton - 17
2. Northern Kentucky - 17
4. Xavier - 10

Men’s Standings
1. Bowling Green - 20
2. Cincinnati - 18
3. Miami (Ohio) - 10
4. Marian (Ind.) - 6
5. Dayton - 4
6. Mount Olive - 3
7. Marshall - 2