May 2, 2014
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Despite inclement weather which warranted multiple rain delays, the University of Cincinnati track & field programs had a good opening day at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in Tampa, Florida. The men's team utilized a Josh Province hammer throw title to position themselves into second place after the first day, while the women are sixth.
A day-long storm had Tampa in a flood warning for most of the morning and delayed the start of the conference meet three-plus hours. There wasn't a dry moment during the meet as it poured on-and-off all day.
Province has steadily moved up the league rankings each week by resetting personal records and Friday was no different. The junior headed into the finals with the second-best toss on the day, but that changed in the finals as he bombed the hammer 189' 4.5" on his fifth throw. His throw, which again was a career-best, would hold the remainder of the competition to give him the conference title.
The Willowick, Ohio native is the first UC hammer thrower to garner a conference title since Scott Ference won in 1994. The Bearcats now have eight men's hammer throw crowns in school history.
The men's distance group garnered a good chunk of points in the night's final two races, the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 10,000-meter run.
In the steeple, the Bearcats finished third, fourth and sixth. Chase Beckmann led the way with a career-best time of 9:09.90, while Tyler Ross also ran a personal-best and snatched fourth at 9:16.23. Oliver Book finished sixth, respectively, with a time of 9:21.29.
Kevin Fink snatched a sixth-place finish in the 10,000m to add on to Cincinnati's point total.
After one day in the decathlon, Kyle Donthnier sits seventh with a point total of 3,268, which is a first-day best. The sophomore posted new career-best marks in the 100-meter dash (11.45) and 400-meter dash (53.72) while also matching his best height in the high jump (5' 8.5"). The remainder of the decathlon begins tomorrow at 4 p.m.
At the conclusion of the first day, the men's team sits in second place with 27 points. Louisville is the current team leader with 51 points.
On the women's side, Mekayla Breland got things started for UC as she claimed fifth in the hammer throw. The junior hurled a personal-best toss of 172' 11" to move into fourth in Cincinnati's records book.
Following the first day of the heptathlon, Cameron Gardner is the top point getter for the Bearcats with 2,787 points and sits 10th overall. Lizz Carr and Kaitlyn Good will enter day two in 12th and 13th, respectively.
After one day of competition, which included just three finals, the women are sixth heading into Saturday. SMU is the current leader with 47 points.
Day two of the American Outdoor Championships continues tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with the men's javelin. Links for live results and video can be found at the top of the page.