Alex Ryan

The first week of summer competition came to a close over the weekend for current and incoming members of the University of Cincinnati track & field program with two of those incoming individuals earning All-America accolades in their final high school competitions. The meets were the first of several this summer that will see members of the program competing for titles at their respective national championships.


One currently rostered athlete took part in a championship meet over the weekend with Sam Mikula capping her freshman season by running in the 3,000m final at the 2018 USATF Junior Championships in Bloomington, Ind. Despite the extremely high temperatures, Mikula battled throughout and finished the race in 10:18.26 to finish sixth overall and earn a medal at the national junior event.


Over the weekend in Greensboro, N.C., four incoming Bearcats competed in the 2018 New Balance Outdoor National Championships with two of those individuals earning All-America honors. On the track, Leah Maschino (Maineville, Ohio/Kings HS) raced in a pair of relays and earned All-America honors in both as her 4x800m relay and distance medley relay teams placed in the Top 6. On Saturday, Maschino ran the lead leg of the 4x800m to help her team to a time of 8:58.74 and a fourth-place finish before coming back Sunday to anchor the DMR to a fifth-place showing in 11:55.05. Both times are school records with the DMR breaking the city record.

In the field, Malin Smith (Lansing, Mich./Waverly HS) took part in a pair of events. After not recording a mark in the discus on Saturday, she came back Sunday in the shot put and launched the ball out to a PR 14.71m (48-03.25) to finish fifth overall and earn All-America honors. Her incoming teammate Kaylia Black (Sandusky, Ohio/Huron HS) also competed in the same events, finishing 15th and 28th, respectively. The final incoming freshman to compete on the weekend was Jase Headings (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder HS), who placed 10th in the boy’s emerging elite 800m run with a time of 1:55.75.


Four individuals are set to compete in major meets this week, including three current Bearcats and one incoming signee. Two individuals will travel to Des Moines, Iowa, this week to compete in the USATF Championships. Alex Bloom will take part in the decathlon this Thursday and Friday with the first events starting at 1 p.m. CT (100m dash) and 11:30 a.m. CT (110m hurdles), respectively. Loretta Blaut, coming off her runner-up finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships, will compete in the women’s high jump on Saturday (2:30 p.m. CT).

Across the pond, Adrian Valles will take part in the highly competitive Madrid Meeting this Friday as the six-time All-American will once again compete in the pole vault. Damien Berthenet, the newest addition to the program, will compete in the decathlon at the French National Outdoor U23 Combined Events Championships in Oyonnax.


Several athletes with ties to the program will also compete in other domestic and international competitions in Europe later this summer, including three Bearcats that were on the roster this past outdoor season and two incoming individuals. In early July, three Bearcats will compete in their respective U23 championship events, including current Bearcat Irati Mitxelena and incoming competitors Toni Banos and Berthenet. Mitxelena will compete in the triple jump and Banos in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Spanish meet in Murcia, Spain, while Berthenet will compete in the decathlon in the French Championships in Albi, France. Both meets will run July 7-9.

Two weeks later (July 21-22), three Bearcats from the 2018 outdoor roster will take part in their respective national meets, including Mitxelena and Valles in Spain and Bienenfeld in Germany. Getafe (Madrid) will host the Spanish competition with Mitxelena entered in the triple jump and Valles in the pole vault while in Nurenberg, Bienenfeld will step on the track for the 5,000m run at the German Championships. All three will be competing for a place on their respective national teams and a chance to compete at the European Championships that will be held in Berlin, Germany, August 7-12.

New Balance Outdoor Nationals (June 15-17) • Greensboro, N.C.

Top 6 finishers in CHAMPIONSHIP events earn All-America honors

Girls Results

4x800m Relay (Championship)

  1. Kings TC (Leah Maschino) • 8:58.74 • All-American

Distance Medley Relay (Championship)

  1. Kings TC (Leah Maschino) • 11:55.05 • All-American

Discus (Championship)

  1. Kaylia Black • 41.50m (136-02)

—  Malin Smith • foul

Shot Put (Championship)

  1. Malin Smith • 14.71m (48-03.25) • All-American
  2. Kaylia Black • 12.41m (40-8.75)


800m Run (Emerging Elite)

  1. Jase Headings • 1:55.75

USATF Junior Championships (June 15-17) • Bloomington, Ind.


3,000m Run

  1. Sam Mikula • 10:18.26

USA Track & Field Senior Championships

Des Moines, Iowa • June 21-24


1:00pm • M Decathlon (100m) • Alex Bloom


11:30am • M Decathlon (110mH) • Alex Bloom


2:30pm • W High Jump • Loretta Blaut

Internationals in National Championship Events/National Team Events

Aaron Bienenfeld • Germany

June 30 • German U23 Championships • Heilbronn • 5,000m

July 22 • German Championships • Nurenberg • 5,000m

Irati Mitxelena • Spain

July 7-8 • Spain U23 Championships • Murcia • Triple Jump

July 21-22 • Spain Championships • Getafe (Madrid) • Triple Jump


Adrian Valles • Spain

June 22 • Meeting de Madrid • Madrid • Pole Vault

July 4 • Meet of Landau • Landau, Germany • Pole Vault

July 21 • Championship of Spain • Getafe (Madrid) • Pole Vault

Toni Banos • Spain

July 7-8 • Spain U23 Championships • Murcia • Steeplechase

Damien Berthenet • France

June 23-24 • National Outdoor Combined Events (U23) • Oyonnax • Decathlon

July 7-9 • France National Championships • Albi • Decathlon