4th at AAC Championships • t-42nd at NCAA Championships
2nd at AAC Championships • t-21st at NCAA Championships
Annette Echikunwoke won the NCAA weight throw title to give the program its first national champion after Al Lanier was a four-time national runner-up in the long jump in 1972 and 1973. She also is just the fifth individual national champion in UC athletics history and the first since 2010 (Josh Schneider, men’s 50 freestyle swimming).
With her finish and 10 points earned, Echikunwoke placed the women’s team in a tie for 21st nationally at the meet, giving UC its first Top 25 national finish in program history.
UC won seven individual and one relay event total, including Echikunwoke (weight), Bryana Robinson (400m), Loretta Blaut (high jump), Kellsa Mbah (long jump) and Naomi Urbano (pentathlon) for the women and men’s titles from Adrian Valles (pole vault) and Jimmy Brooks (400m). The women also won the 4x400m relay.
Valles’s title kept him perfect in the conference as he won the pole vault for the third year in a row. Echikunwoke also won back-to-back weight tiles while the relay and both Robinson and Brooks in the 400m dash each claimed victory for the first time in UC history.
Echkiunwoke and Valles were the only two Bearcats to reach the national meet and both placed in the Top 5 with Echikunwoke winning the weight throw and Valles placing fifth. It marked the second year in a row Echikunwoke earned USTFCCCA All-America First Team honors after she placed eighth in the weight throw last year while Valles earned his third first-team accolade after placements of 6th, 5th and 5th at the indoor meet.