Bearcats Blaut, Valles Punch Tickets to NCAA Finals
May 26, 2017


LEXINGTON, KY - The second day of action at the 2017 NCAA East Preliminary Round meet in Lexington, Ky., not only saw a vast improvement in the weather, but also saw an improvement in results for the University of Cincinnati track and field program as two of the four Bearcats that competed Friday earned berths into the NCAA Finals in two weeks. Both Loretta Blaut (women’s high jump) and Adrian Valles (men’s pole vault) will be making return trips to Eugene, Ore., as both finished in the Top 12 of their respective quarterfinals to earn advancement to the finals.

Blaut, who sat out the first bar of the competition (1.64m), came in and cleared on her first attempt at 1.69m (5-06.50) before needing a second attempt clearance at 1.74m (5-08.50) to remain in the competition. She then took her turn at 1.79m (5-10.50) and cleared on her first try, leaving her in a solid position to advance. While she did not clear 1.82m (5-11.50), it did not matter as she sat eighth overall based on misses to earn a trip to Eugene. The junior will be making her second-consecutive appearance at the outdoor national meet after she place sixth one year ago to earn All-America honors.

Much like he has done all year, Valles waited to enter the pole vault competition until two heights had already been attempted. When 5.25m came up, so did Valles as he easily cleared on his first attempt to climb into the lead. With the bar raised to 5.35m (17-06.50), Valles once again cleared on his first attempt, making him one of two men on the day to go perfect through the competition and tie for first. With his Top 12 showing, Valles qualified to Eugene for the third year in a row as well as making the NCAA Final field for the sixth time in his career after earning three berths into the NCAA Indoor Championships as well. Valles will look to grab his fifth career All-America honor in Eugene in two weeks.

Heading into the meet, Macklin Tudor was ranked 13th in the East, which would have made him the first person left out of Eugene if all marks held true. Throughout the competition, Tudor remained around the cut line and was consistent with his throws, hitting two marks of 18.34m (6-02.00) and one at 18.32m. In the end, 18.41m was the final qualifier to Oregon, leaving Tudor in 14th place. He will have another chance to reach Oregon on Saturday when he competes in his top event, the discus, an event he ranks second in the East and third nationally.

In the only running event of the day for the Bearcats, Dan Huben took to the track in the final of three heats of the 3,000m steeplechase. While he did not run an improved time, Huben did finish in 9:06.81 to place 31st overall, a five-position improvement over what he was ranked heading into the meet.

Saturday will mark the final day of competition for the Bearcats at the East meet and the final chance to earn berths into the national meet in Oregon. On the track, the women’s 4x100m relay will lead things off at 6 p.m. while the 4x400m relay will close the running events at 9:25 p.m. Between those races, several field events will feature UC entrants, including Macklin Tudor in the discus (2 p.m.), Annette Echikunwoke and Ashley Williams in the shot put (6 p.m.) and Alex Bloom in the high jump (3 p.m.). The field events, much like Friday, will see each Bearcat needing only to finish in the Top 12. On the track, if either relay finishes in the Top 3 of their respective heat, they advance automatically. If not, they will need to be one of the three fastest times to earn a spot in Eugene.

2017 NCAA East Preliminary Rounds - Day 2 (5/26/17)
Women’s Results
High Jump - Quarterfinal
8. Loretta Blaut - 1.79m (5-10.50) - advances to Eugene

Men’s Results
3,000m Steeplechase - Quarterfinal
31. Dan Huben - 9:06.81

Pole Vault - Quarterfinal
t1. Adrian Valles - 5.35m (17-06.50) - advances to Eugene

Shot Put - Quarterfinal
14. Macklin Tudor - 18.34m (60-02.00)