The American Athletic Conference has announced its list of weekly award winners with three of the four honors being earned by members of the University of Cincinnati track and field program. The Bearcats swept both field awards as Alex Bloom was named this week’s Male Field Athlete of the Week while Loretta Blaut was tabbed as the Female Field Athlete of the Week. UC also took home the Female Track Athlete of the Week award as Bryana Robinson was selected for that honor. All three recipients had outstanding marks at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station, Texas, over the weekend.
// THE STUDENT BESTS THE TEACHER
Bloom collected his first accolade of the season after another successful heptathlon competition in Texas, this time scoring a personal-best 5,649 points in the two-day, seven-event competition to not only better his previous best by 45 points, but also take down the school record by 33 points. The previous record was 5,616 points that Chris Wineberg, Bloom’s current coach, scored 14 years ago in 2004. Currently, Bloom ranks #11 in the NCAA and #2 in the American after recording the third-highest score of the weekend across the nation.
To get to his record point total, Bloom posted personal-best marks in four of the seven events, opening the competition with a UC heptathlon record time of 7.03 in the 60m dash. He also moved to #3 on the program’s heptathlon shot put chart with a heave of 12.78m (41-11.25) on the first day of competition. On the final day, he posted PRs in the final two events of the day, first in the pole vault as he cleared 4.55m (14-11.00). Needing 771 points in the 1,000m run, Bloom scored 803 points as he ran a best of 2:46.50 to not only post the #4 heptathlon 1,000m time in program history, but also break Wineberg’s overall scoring record.
// ALL A-BLAUT CLEARANCES
Blaut continued her upward trend as she not only won the high jump for the fifth meet in a row this year, but did so by posting a season-best for the fourth meet in a row as well. Blaut won the event in Texas with a meet-record clearance of 1.84m (6-00.50), which also equalled the fifth-best clearance of the weekend across the nation. Blaut, who also cleared 1.81m earlier in the competition for the #5 (tie) clearance of the weekend, has now cleared 6’ in back-to-back meets and currently leads the American by 4.5”. On the national scene, the All-American is ranked tied for ninth in the NCAA.
// ROBINSON ROLLING
Robinson raced in a pair of sprint events in Texas and turned in personal-best times in both. First, she ran the 400m and won the event with a time of 53.08. The only woman in UC history to run under 54 seconds, Robinson reset her school record and opened a larger lead in the AAC as she is now ahead of the closest runner by 1.19 seconds. Ranked #7 nationally, her time also was the #3 time turned in across the NCAA over the weekend. Later in the day, she raced in the 200m, placing eighth overall in 23.92. That time, which ranks her fourth in the AAC currently, moved her up to #3 all-time in history. It also made her just the third UC woman to run under 24 seconds in the indoor 200m.
// ADDING AWARDS
With this week’s awards, the Bearcats have now earned nine total honors during the 2018 indoor season with six different athletes earning those awards. Blaut is one of three individuals that have won multiple awards, joining Annette Echikunwoke (2x Female Field) and Adrian Valles (2x Male Field) as two-time honorees this year. Bloom and Robinson both earned their first weekly honors of 2018.
// IN THE BLOCKS
Next up for the Bearcats will be a trip south this week to compete in the Music City Challenge inside the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility in Nashville. The meet will run Friday and Saturday and will be the final major competition for the Bearcats before the AAC Championships, which are set for February 23-24 at the Crossplex in Birmingham, Ala.
2018 American Athletic Conference Awards – Indoor
Women’s Track Athlete of the Week
Tiona Lattimore – Jan. 16
Bryana Robinson – Feb. 6
Women’s Field Athlete of the Week
Annette Echikunwoke – Dec. 12 & Jan. 30
Loretta Blaut – Jan. 23 & Feb. 6
Men’s Field Athlete of the Week
Adrian Valles – Jan. 16 & Jan. 23
Alex Bloom – Feb. 6