March 9, 2017
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - University of Cincinnati track and field standout Adrian Valles (Pamplona, Spain) has been selected as the recipient of the Elite 90 Award for the 2017 NCAA Men’s Indoor Track & Field Championships, the national governing body announced today. The honor, which was first awarded during the 2009-10 academic year, is given at each of the NCAA’s 90 national championship events to the student-athlete in the national event that carries the highest cumulative grade-point average. He joined Lexi Weeks of Arkansas, who was the women's winner.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship.
Valles’ honor is the first earned by a Bearcat student-athlete in the eight years the NCAA has honored the top student-athlete at each of its championship events. He also is the first student-athlete in the history of the American Athletic Conference to bring home to honor. Last week, Valles was selected for another academic honor as he was named the American Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2016-17. An industrial managment major, Valles currently carries a 3.966 GPA.
The junior All-American enters this weekend’s national meet ranked fourth the pole vault with a top clearance of 5.60m (18-04.50), which he cleared at the American Championships two weeks ago to break the school, meet and facility record at the same time. A three-time indoor and five-time overall (indoor and outdoor) conference champion in the American, Valles is seeking his third indoor All-America accolade and the program’s first national title.
Valles is one of two Bearcats in Texas this weekend that will compete in the NCAA meet. Valles will lead things off as he takes part in his third-consecutive indoor national meet when the pole vault gets underway at 5:30 p.m. local (6:30 p.m. ET) on Friday. Annette Echikunwoke also is set to compete as the junior will take part in the women’s weight throw starting at 4:30 p.m. local (5:30 p.m. ET) on Saturday.