7th at AAC Championships • T-33at NCAA Championships
1st at AAC Championships • t-69 at NCAA Championships
The women successfully defended their AAC outdoor title as they ran away with the victory by a conference-record 31-point margin, scoring 138 points, a 27-point improvement over their first title in 2016. The women won five individuals events with Echikunwoke taking the shot put and hammer; Robinson in the 400m, Blaut in the high jump and Urbano in the heptathlon, along with a sweep of both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Blaut earned USTFCCCA All-America First Team honors for the second year in a row outdoors as she tied for sixth place in the high jump to lead the way at the national meet as one of five Bearcats to earn a national honor. Her finish scored 1.5 team points, which placed UC in a tie for 69th place nationally this year.
The women qualified six athletes to the NCAA Final in Eugene, Ore., a single-gender program record, surpassing the five that qualified and competed in the 2016 meet.
The men placed sixth overall with four individual championships secured, including gold medals from Macklin Tudor (shot put and discus), Valles (pole vault) and Alex Bloom (decathlon). Tudor swept the two throws for UC, marking just the second time that has happened and the first since 1992.
Valles won his third pole vault title in a row outdoors and remains undefeated in conference competitions for his career as he has won all six AAC meets he has entered. He then qualified to the NCAA Final where he placed second nationally in the pole vault, equaling the highest male finish at a NCAA meet with Al Lanier, who was a four-time national runner-up in the long jump (twice indoor and twice outdoor) in 1972 and 1973.
With Valles’ national finish, the men scored 8 points and tied for 33rd overall. That team finish stands as the fourth-best outdoor finish in men’s program history, the sixth-best men’s finish ever (indoor and outdoor included) and seventh-highest in program history when including the women’s finishes (indoor and outdoor as well).
Macklin Tudor finished 10th in the discus at the NCAA Final, earning USTFCCA All-America Second Team honors in his first and final national appearance. He is the 12th different UC man to earn All-America accolades outdoors and the 16th overall with indoor included. Adding in Valles’ finish, the duo tied for the most single-season All-America honors earned for the men’s program, equaling the two honors attained in 2001, 2004 and 2013.
Alex Bloom won his first decathlon title, scoring a personal-best 7,401 points. That total, which ranks second in UC history, placed him just outside the national Top 24, which automatically qualified for nationals, by just 70 points.