Relay Earns All-America Honors for the First Time in Program History
June 9, 2017


EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Cincinnati track and field program added more history to its record books Thursday at the NCAA Final as the women’s 4x400m relay team earned All-America honors for the first time to lead the way for the Bearcats at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The relay team placed 15th overall in a school-record time to collect USTFCCCA All-America Second Team accolades in the program’s first national appearance (men and women, indoor and outdoor).

The final event of the day provided the most excitement - and anxiety - as the Bearcats’ relay team of Tiona Lattimore, Bryana Robinson, Haisha Bisiolu and Deanna Gesicki took to the track in the first of three heats. Starting in lane one, Lattimore, a true freshman, carried the baton with a split of 54.1 before handing off to Robinson with the 2017 American Athletic Conference indoor and outdoor 400m dash champion running her lap in 53.0 to keep the Bearcats in fifth overall. Bisiolu took her turn and ran 53.9 before Gesicki closed out the race in 54.6 to keep the Bearcats in fifth in their heat and posting a time of 3:35.96.

Following their race, the women had to watch as the final two heats ran their races with the 16 other teams looking to push past the Bearcats in the standings. Following both races, the Bearcats had been pushed to 15th overall, which was good enough to earn All-America honors for the first time as the teams that placed ninth through 16th garnered second-team accolades from the USTFCCCA. These awards mark the first time a UC relay has earned the national honor and add four more individual names to the ledger, which now includes the names of 14 women. With the four awards attained, the women’s program now has tallied 23 All-America awards all-time.

Heading into the season, the fastest time ever run in the 4x400m relay had been 3:37.62 and was run in 2012. Including today’s result, the relay team not only has bettered that record time three different times, but has done so at the right times. First, they ran 3:36.87 to win the title at the American Athletic Conference Championships and turn in the first time under 3:37 in program history. Two weeks later, they took to the track at the NCAA East Preliminary meet and ran 3:36.59 to lower the school record again and finish 12th to grab the final ticket to the NCAA Final where they competed today.

Annette Echikunwoke also competed Thursday, this time taking on the field in the shot put. In her second-consecutive appearance at the NCAA outdoor meet and her fourth-consecutive NCAA appearance, the 2017 indoor weight throw national champion placed 21st overall today as she posted a mark of 15.63m (51-03.50) on her first throw. Despite the finish bringing an end to her junior season, it was a great collegiate campaign as she earned the program’s first national title and captured a trio of conference titles, including the indoor weight throw, and the outdoor hammer and shot put crowns, while also being tabbed the AAC Female Performer of the Meet at both conference events in 2017.

Just one event awaits the Bearcats Friday as Macklin Tudor will take part in the discus starting at 5:05 p.m. PT (8:05 p.m. ET). The event will be aired live on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app.

2017 NCAA Final • Day 1 (6/7/17)
Women’s Results
4x400m Relay - Semifinal
15. Cincinnati - 3:35.96 - UC RECORD - All-Americans (2nd Team)
      Lattimore (54.1), B. Robinson (53.0), Bisiolu (53.9), Gesicki (54.6)

Shot Put
21. Annette Echikunwoke - 15.63m (51-03.50)

Women’s Team Standings (thru 6 events)
1. Georgia - 24.2
2. Kentucky - 14.0
3. Arizona State - 13.0
4. Kansas - 12.0
5. Arkansas - 11.2
    UC has not scored team points

USTFCCCA All-Americans
First Team
Valles, Adrian - Men’s Pole Vault

Second Team
Bisiolu, Haisha - Women’s 4x400m Relay
Gesicki, Deanna - Women’s 4x400m Relay
Lattimore, Tiona - Women’s 4x400m Relay
Robinson, Bryana - Women’s 4x400m Relay