IN THE STARTING BLOCKS:
The University of Cincinnati track and field teams will travel to Storrs, Conn., for the 2007 BIG EAST Championships, which will take place on May 4-6 at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex.
UC is in its second season of competition in the BIG EAST Conference in 2007. The Bearcat men finished fifth at the 2006 BIG EAST Championships, while the women placed 13th. The conference features 16 men's and women's track & field teams, constituting the largest league in the nation.
The UC indoor track and field team finished 10th at the 2007 BIG EAST Indoor Championships, with Renee Hein (high jump) and Tara Meier (pole vault) grabbing individual titles.
The UC men have qualified 38 individuals for the BIG EAST Championships, with Caleb Arthur and Troy Lammers leading the way, each meeting the standard in three events.
The women qualified 19 student-athletes for the weekend, led by Ashley Wilhelm, who has qualified for six events.
The Bearcats appear nine times in the national rankings. Renee Hein is the fifth-ranked high jumper in the nation with a 6' 0-3/4" clearance. Ashley Wilhelm is currently 11th in the heptathlon (5515), while ranking 35th in the country in the long jump (20' 2"). Brittany Klima is 68th in the high jump (12' 6-1/2"), the men's 4x100 team ranks 26th (40.15), Kevin Schwarz is 43rd in the 3,000 steeple (9:01.89), Troy Lammers is 55th in the 400 hurdles (52.06), Bob Kandell is 66th in the 400 meters (47.16), and Ian Jarman is 87th in the hammer throw (187' 4").
UC has qualified for postseason competition in nine events. Ashley Wilhelm met the NCAA `A' standard in the hepathlon as well as reaching the NCAA regional qualifying mark in the long jump. Ian Jarman (hammer throw), Bob Kandell (400 meters), Troy Lammers (400 hurdles), Kevin Schwarz (3,000 steeple), Renee Hein (high jump), Brittany Klima (pole vault) and the men's 4x100 relay team have each qualified for the NCAA Mid-East Regional Championships, which will be held on May 25-26 in Columbia, Mo.
Seniors Ashley Wilhelm (long jump, heptathlon, javelin), Renee Hein (high jump), and Shintara Carpenter (triple jump) and juniors Brittany Klima (pole vault) and Monica Hundley (100 hurdles) are current school record holders.
Head men's coach Bill Schnier is in his 27th season at Cincinnati in such a capacity. Head women's coach Jim Schnur is in his 23rd year at Cincinnati and his seventh as head coach.
LAST TIME OUT:
Selected student-athletes traveled to the competitive Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa on April 28. The UC highlight at Drake was Monica Hundley, who topped her own school record in the 100 hurdles with a 13.97. Renee Hein cleared 5' 9-3/4" in the high jump to finish 10th. At the Stan Lyons Invitational on April 28, hosted by Butler University, Camron Turner (100 meters, 200 meters), Courtney Wicks (400 meters), Megan Knapp (5000 meters), and Ije Obiorah (long jump) qualified for the BIG EAST in their respective events.
On the men's side, John Bowie placed seventh in the 100 meters at Drake, missing a regional qualifying mark by just .05 with a 10.55. At the Stan Lyons, the Bearcat men posted five new BIG EAST qualifiers. Chris Hill (shot put), Ernest Kerr (100 meters), Allen Moore (400 hurdles), Chase Petzinger (400 hurdles), and Justin Conway (200 meters) each qualified for the trip to Storrs for the BIG EAST Championships.
2006 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIPS:
The UC men finished fifth after scoring 80 points at the 2006 BIG EAST Championships at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex. The women's squad placed 13th after scoring 25.50 points.
Notre Dame (132 pts.) was the men's champion and Pittsburgh (117) grabbed the women's title for the second consecutive season.
The men's team featured two event champions, as John Bowie captured the 100 meter dash title in a personal-best 10.52. The 4x100 relay team also won a BIG EAST crown, crossing the line in 40.57. The pair of titles were the first BIG EAST Championships in UC track & field history.
Bowie also placed third in the 200 meters, finishing in 21.59. Cedric Powell was a standout performer for the Bearcats, as he placed second in the 200 meters (21.42) and third in the 400 meters (47.48). Chad Beamer in the pole vault (15' 3", 7th) and Michael Jarman in the hammer throw (172' 10", 7th) also scored for UC, as did the 4x400 relay squad, which finished second in 3:10.15.
The women got a second-place finish from Renee Hein in the high jump. The junior cleared 5' 8-3/4", two inches shy of her personal best. Shintara Carpenter, UC's record holder in the triple jump leapt 40' 1-1/4" to finish sixth in the event. The 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams each placed sixth in 47.42 and 3:45.10, respectively.
Connecticut's Joel Legare and Louisville's Tone Belt earned Men's Most Outstanding Track and Field Performer honors, respectively. Molly Huddle of Notre Dame earned the women's Most Outstanding Track Performer, while Johvonne Hernandez of Syracuse and Georgetown's Buky Bamigboye shared Most Outstanding Field Performer honors.
WILHELM QUALIFIES FOR NCAA:
Senior Ashley Wilhelm met the NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the heptathlon, scoring 5515 points at the Alabama Relays and shattering her own school record by nearly 300 points. Within the heptathlon, she broke another pair of school records, topping her own mark in the long jump with a 20' 2" leap and bettering Renee Hein's javelin record with a 133' 11-3/4" heave. She qualified for NCAA Mid-East Regional competition in the long jump and has qualified for the BIG EAST Championships in six events.
BEARCATS SHOW TEETH AT ALL-OHIO:
The Bearcat men and women both finished second at the 2007 All-Ohio Championships on April 20-21 at UC's Gettler Stadium. The meet was a huge success for both programs, as the teams combined for nine event titles and seven postseason qualifiers. Two women's school records were broken as Renee Hein earned the elusive outdoor high jump record with a 6' 0-3/4" clearance and Monica Hundley broke her own record in the 100 hurdles with a 14.08.
LIKE A BROKEN RECORD:
The women's squad has set six school records during the 2007 season.
Senior Ashley Wilhelm has set three school marks this season, all on the same day. At the Alabama Relays on March 22-23, Wilhelm shattered her own heptathlon record (5223) with a 5515, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Within the heptathlon, the Indiana native scored another pair of school marks in the long jump (20' 2") and the javelin throw (133' 11-3/4").
Senior Renee Hein topped Celeste Cofield's school mark in the high jump, clearing 6' 0-3/4" at the All-Ohio Championships on April 21. Cofield held the mark since 2000 at 5' 11", and Hein has been consistently jumping 5' 10-3/4" since 2005.
Junior Brittany Klima broke her own mark in the pole vault, with a 12' 6' clearance at the Southern Ohio Cup. She had held the record with teammate and BIG EAST Indoor pole vault champion Tara Meier at 12' 5-1/2".
Junior Monica Hundley has improved throughout the season in the 100 hurdles after setting the school record in the 60-meter hurdles during the indoor season. She eclipsed Ashley Arnett's 14.14 set in 2003 with a 14.09 at the Southern Ohio Cup. She then followed that mark with a 14.08 at the All-Ohio Championships and her mark now sits at 13.97 after the Drake Relays.
MISSING A PIECE:
The Bearcats will be missing a successful member of the men's team at the BIG EAST Championships. John Bowie, the defending 100 meter champion, was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft last weekend and will be participating in the team's mini-camp during the conference championships. His status for the rest of the season has not been determined.
UC will travel to Louisville, Ky., on May 12 for the Ohio River Challenge, a last-chance meet before the NCAA Mid-East Regional Championships take place on May 25-26 in Columbia, Mo.