CHAMPIONS! UC Women Repeat as Conference Champions
May 15, 2017

HOUSTON - For the second time in as many years, the University of Cincinnati women’s track and field program hoisted the conference trophy as the Bearcats scored 138 points to easily win the 2017 American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships that were held Friday through Sunday in Houston, Texas. The team title is just the second in program history and comes on the heels of the Bearcats’ first title that was won one year ago in Orlando. The Bearcats captured 11 event championships on the weekend with the women winning seven and the men chipping in four of their own. The women, who won one-third of the contested 21 events, won four of those titles on the final day of competition, including a sweep of both relays.

The overall team leaders following the second day of competition, the women accumulated 138 points, which stands as the second-highest total in the conference’s history while also posting the largest margin of victory as UC finished 31 points ahead of runner-up UConn, who scored 107 points, with East Carolina (104.5), UCF (99.5) and SMU (96) rounding out the Top 5. That margin of victory surpassed the 16.6 total SMU held in the first year of the conference. The win for the Bearcats also keeps the number of women’s teams to win the American outdoor meet at two as they join SMU as back-to-back champions. In the men’s standings, the host Cougars won their second title in as many years with 181.5 points while UConn was runner-up with 136.5 points. The Bearcats were sixth overall with 85.5 points with Memphis (112), ECU (109) and Tulsa (98) rounding out the Top 5.

After the team trophy was presented to the women, several other awards were handed out to the UC program. First, Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Susan Seaton and her assistant coaches (Chris Wineberg, Lara Crofford, Nadine Faustin-Parker, Sam Kranz and Sam Burroughs), along with the volunteer coaches on hand (Nick Kowaleski, Ethan Knight, Dillon Risser and Sarah Rasnick) were presented with the 2017 American Athletic Conference Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year, an honor they brought home last year as well. Individually, Annette Echikunwoke was voted by the conference coaches as the 2017 American Athletic Conference Female Field Performer of the Meet while Macklin Tudor was tabbed for the 2017 American Athletic Conference Male Field Performer of the Meet. Both individuals tallied at least 20 points for their respective teams over the weekend. Echikunwoke, who already had won the hammer and shot put in the previous two days, came back and recorded a personal best mark of 47.72m (155-07) to place fourth in the discus and move up to #6 on the program’s all-time Top 10.

Heading into the final day of action, the Bearcats program had already accumulated five conference titles. Sunday, however, the earned six more with the women taking gold four times and the men twice. On the women’s side, Bryana Robinson raced to a time of 53.31 to win the 400m dash, marking the first time UC has won that event at the conference meet in program history. The indoor champion as well, Robinson was not done as she helped a pair of relays win gold, including the 4x400m, which swept the event both indoor and outdoors this year. Robinson joined with Haisha Bisiolu, Tiona Lattimore and Deanna Gesicki to run 3:36.87 to not only win the event for just the second time in UC history, but also do so in a school-record time. Robinson, Bisiolu and Lattimore opened the day on the track with Kellsa Mbah as the quartet, which saw Lattimore chase down her fellow anchor from Houston, won in a time of 44.33, which also broke the school record. The title in the short relay is the first in program history.

Moving to the field events, the Bearcats captured three more titles on the day. First, Loretta Blaut climbed over 1.77m (5-09.75) to win the high jump and complete the event sweep for 2017. While she has a better mark this year, the 1.77m clearance Sunday stands as a meet record. Next, Adrian Valles continued his dominance in the pole vault as he cleared 5.21m (17-01.00) to win his sixth-consecutive conference crown in the event following his third season sweep after winning indoors for the third time this year as well. Tudor was the final champion crowned in the field events for UC on Sunday as he took the title in the discus with a best of 59.05m (193-09). That mark also stands as a meet record.

Two other marks recorded on the day found a place in the women’s all-time Top 10 ledger, including Lattimore’s impressive run in the 200m dash final where the rookie place sixth overall in 23.74. That time ranks as the fourth-fastest in UC history and also broke the school’s freshman record in the event. Meg Westerheide improved her #2 time in the 1,500m run as she placed fourth overall in 4:31.70, just 0.52 seconds off the school record. Also, for Westerheide, her finish is the best for a Bearcats women in any race 800m and longer since the program joined the American and is the seventh-best distance finish in program history at a conference event.

Sixteen different Bearcats contributed to Top 3 finishes on the weekend and earned all-conference recognition in the process. For the women, along with the previously mentioned champions, three others earned all-conference accolades Sunday, including Aliya Barnes in the 100m hurdles; Irati Mitxelena in the triple jump; and Naomi Urbano in the high jump. Mitxelena finished as the conference runner-up, which also is the highest finish in the triple jump in the program’s outdoor conference history, while Barnes and Urbano each placed third in their respective events with Urbano clearing a personal-best mark of 1.68m (5-06.00) in the process. On the men’s side, Michael Vitucci placed second in the 800m run for the second time this year as he ran 1:50.38 outdoors, a mark that ranks eighth in program history.

Lattimore scored in the 400m dash as well by running 54.26 to tally five points for the team while Mbah scored five points in the triple jump (12.01m/39-05.00) to add to the team total. Staying in the field events, Brooke Catherine scored two points in the pole vault by clearing 3.79m (12-05.25); and Alexis Gray added four points in the discus with a toss of 47.19m (154-10) as she placed fifth.

Several other men also scored points in individual events with four sprinters, one distance racer and two high jumpers collecting points. In the sprints, Joshuwa Holloman placed seventh in the 100m dash (10.70) for two points; Kelvin Williams scored two points in the 110m hurdles (15.11); Halen Witcher scored three points in the 400m dash by placing sixth (48.00); and Jaashir Morris was fifth in the 400m hurdles (53.34) for four points. Also on the track, Nick Grismer ran 14:53.86 in the 5,000m run for two points. The final points came from the high jump with Alex Bloom scoring five points by clearing 2.05m (6-08.75) while Jordan Hardiman tied for seventh to score 1.5 points (1.97m).

The Bearcats will be off for two weeks before heading to Lexington, Ky., as those members of the team that qualify will take part in the NCAA East Preliminary Round competition at the University of Kentucky May 25-27. The Top 48 individuals and Top 24 relays will compete for the Top 12 positions in their respective events to move on to the NCAA Finals in Eugene, Ore., June 7-10.

2017 American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships - Day 3 (5/14/17)
Women’s Results
100m Hurdles - FINAL
3. Aliya Barnes - 13.67 (+0.9) - 6 points

200m Dash - FINAL
6. Tiona Lattimore - 23.74 - PR, UC #4 & UC Freshman Record - 3 points

400m Dash - FINAL
1. Bryana Robinson - 53.31 - CHAMPION - 10 points
4. Tiona Lattimore - 54.26 - 5 points

1,500m Run - FINAL
4. Meg Westerheide - 4:31.70 - PR & UC #2 - 5 points

5,000m Run - FINAL
26. Juliana Madzia - 17:56.07
29. Tessa Ward - 18:07.66
34. Vanessa Robinson - 18:21.04 - PR
      Meg Westerheide - DNF

4x100m Relay - FINAL
1. Cincinnati - 44.33 - UC RECORD - 10 points
     Mbah, Bisiolu, B. Robinson, Lattimore

4x400m Relay - FINAL
1. Cincinnati - 3:36.87 - UC RECORD - 10 points
     Bisiolu (54.9), Lattimore (54.5), Gesicki (54.4), B. Robinson (52.9)

Triple Jump - FINAL
2. Irati Mitxelena - 12.37m (40-07.00) - 8 points
4. Kellsa Mbah - 12.01m (39-05.00) - 5 points

High Jump - FINAL
1. Loretta Blaut - 1.77m (5-09.75) - Meet Record - 10 points
3. Naomi Urbano - 1.68m (5-06.00) - PR - 6 points
    Maggie Loeffler - no height
    Angelica Lightfoot - no height

Pole Vault - FINAL
t6. Brooke Catherine - 3.79m (12-05.25) - 2 points
t11. Lily Bunse - 3.64m (11-11.25)
t17. Rachel Coghill - 3.49m (11-05.25)

Discus - FINAL
4. Annette Echikunwoke - 47.72m (155-07) - PR & UC #6 - 5 points
5. Alexis Gray - 47.19m (154-10) - 4 points
10. Nicole Breeden - 43.28m (142-00)
      Ashley Williams - foul

1. CINCINNATI - 138.0
2. UConn - 107.0
3. East Carolina - 104.5
4. UCF - 99.5
5. SMU - 96
6. Memphis - 72.0
7. Houston - 70.0
8. Tulane - 66.0
9. Tulsa - 38.0
10. South Florida - 21.0
11. Temple - 6.0

Men’s Results
100m Dash - FINAL
7. Joshuwa Holloman - 10.70 (-0.3) - 2 points

110m Hurdles - FINAL
7. Kelvin Williams - 15.11 (-2.1) - 2 points

400m Dash - FINAL
6. Halen Witcher - 48.00 - 3 points

400m Hurdles - FINAL
5. Jaashir Morris - 53.34 - 4 points

800m Run - FINAL
2. Michael Vitucci - 1:50.38 - PR & UC #8 - 8 points

5,000m Run - FINAL
7. Nick Grismer - 14:53.86 - PR - 2 points
12. Dan Huben - 15:14.75
15. Seamus Collins - 15:17.02

4x100m Relay - FINAL
Cincinnati - DQ
  Chambers, Thompson, Witcher, Edwards

4x400m Relay - FINAL
6. Cincinnati - 3:13.59 - 3 points
    Witcher (48.7), Morris (48.9), Greene (48.0), Alexander (47.7)

Triple Jump - FINAL
11. Sergio Acera - 13.53m (44-04.75)

High Jump - FINAL
4. Alex Bloom - 2.05m (6-08.75) - 5 points
t7. Jordan Hardiman - 1.97m (6-05.50) - 1.5 points
11. Mike Wood - 1.92m (6-03.50)

Pole Vault - FINAL
1. Adrian Valles - 5.21m (17-01.00) - CHAMPION - 10 points
    Alex Bloom - no height 
    Nathan Alexander - no height
    Billy Rook - no height

Discus - FINAL
1. Macklin Tudor - 59.05m (193-09) - CHAMPION - Meet Record - 10 points


1. Houston - 181.5
2. UConn - 136.5
3. Memphis - 112.0
4. East Carolina - 109.0
5. Tulsa - 98.0
6. CINCINNATI - 85.5
7. South Florida - 47.5
8. Tulane - 38.0

2017 American Athletic Conference Champions
Women (7)
Blaut, Loretta - High Jump (1.77m/5-09.75)
Echikunwoke, Annette - Hammer (60.97m/200-00) - Repeat Champion
Echikunwoke, Annette - Shot Put (16.20m/53-01.75)
Robinson, Bryana - 400m Dash (53.31)
Urbano, Naomi - Heptathlon (5,004 points)
4x100m Relay (44.33) - Mbah, Bisiolu, B. Robinson, Lattimore
4x400m Relay (3:36.87) - Bisiolu, Lattimore, Gesicki, B. Robinson

Men (4)
Bloom, Alex - Decathlon (7,401 points)
Tudor, Macklin - Shot Put (18.90m/62-00.25)
Tudor, Macklin - Discus (59.05m/193-09)
Valles, Adrian - Pole Vault (5.21m/17-01.00) - Three-peat Champion

2017 American Athletic All-Conference (Top 3 Finishers)
Women (11 Bearcats with 17 Awards)
Barnes, Aliya - 100m Hurdles (13.67) - 3rd place
Bisiolu, Haisha - 4x100m Relay (44.33) - 1st place
Bisiolu, Haisha - 4x400m Relay (3:36.87) - 1st place
Blaut, Loretta - High Jump (1.77m/5-09.75) - 1st place
Echikunwoke, Annette - Hammer (60.97m/200-00) - 1st place
Echikunwoke, Annette - Shot Put (16.20m/53-01.75) - 1st place
Mbah, Kellsa - 4x100m Relay (44.33) - 1st place
Gesicki, Deanna - 4x400m Relay (3:36.87) - 1st place
Lattimore, Tiona - 4x100m Relay (44.33) - 1st place
Lattimore, Tiona - 4x400m Relay (3:36.87) - 1st place
Mbah, Kellsa - Long Jump (6.32m/20-09.00) - 2nd place
Mitxelena, Irati - Triple Jump (12.37m/40-07.00) - 2nd place
Robinson, Bryana - 400m Dash (53.31) - 1st place
Robinson, Bryana - 4x100m Relay (44.33) - 1st place
Robinson, Bryana - 4x400m Relay (3:36.87) - 1st place
Urbano, Naomi - Heptathlon (5,004 points) - 1st place
Urbano, Naomi - High Jump (1.68m/5-06.00) - 3rd place

Men (5 Bearcats with 6 Awards)
Bloom, Alex - Decathlon (7,401 points) - 1st place
Edwards, Austin - Long Jump (7.59m/24-11.00) - 3rd place
Tudor, Macklin - Shot Put (18.90m/62-00.25) - 1st place
Tudor, Macklin - Discus (59.05m/193-09) - 1st place
Valles, Adrian - Pole Vault (5.21m/17-01.00) - 1st place
Vitucci, Michael - 800m Run (1:50.38) - 2nd place