With three, first-attempt clearances in the women’s high jump, University of Cincinnati track and field standout Loretta Blaut punched her ticket to the NCAA Finals as the four-time USTFCCCA All-America honoree tied for first place in the event at the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet Thursday afternoon in Tampa, Fla. Blaut, a four-time American Athletic Conference champion in the event, did what she needed in order to secure a berth in the national meet for the fifth time in her career for the Bearcats.
// BLAUT MOVING ON
After passing on the opening height of 1.65m (5-05.00), Blaut joined the competition and cleared 1.70m (5-07.00), 1.75m (5-08.75) and 1.80m (5-10.75) on her first attempts. After all attempts were made by the rest of the field at 1.80m, only 11 women remained in the competition, which ended the event as the Top 12 advance to Eugene. Blaut, who won the AAC title at home two weeks ago with an NCAA-leading clearance of 1.80m, was one of three women that were perfect on the day as she joined both Lissa LaBiche (South Carolina) and Clarissa Cutliff (Florida International) with zero misses on the day.
Blaut, who will compete in Eugene on Saturday, June 9, at 3 p.m. local (6 p.m. ET), will be making her fifth national appearance and her third in a row after competing at the 2017 outdoor meet in Oregon and the 2018 indoor meet in College Station, Texas, back in March. Now the women’s program record holder for most appearances in the high jump at the NCAA meets, Blaut has also tied Jasmine Cotten and Annette Echikunwoke for the most national meet appearances in UC women’s history. As a four-time USTFCCCA All-American in her career already, Blaut will look to not only add to that total in two weeks, but, if she places in the Top 16, she will break a tie with Erika Hurd and Echikunwoke for the most All-America honors in women’s program history while a Top 8 showing would tie her with Echikunwoke with the most first-team accolades earned in women’s program history.
// THREE MORE COMPETE
Three other Bearcats competed on the day, but were unable to finish high enough in their respective events to advance to the next round. On the track, Tiona Lattimore took part in the first round of the 100m dash and posted a time of 11.72 to place 44th overall. Although she will not advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, she will still has races in the 200m dash and the 4x100m relay remaining this weekend. In the field, where the Top 12 advance directly to Eugene, two more Bearcats competed but were unable to reach the Top 12. In the women’s shot put, Ashley Williams hit a best mark of 14.76m (48-05.25) and finished 40th overall while Austin Edwards took part in the men’s long jump and placed 30th overall with a leap of 7.32m (24-04.25).
// ON DECK
With more weather expected in the Tampa area Friday, the NCAA has pushed up the start times for all the events to be contested. The day will start at 8:45 a.m. for the Bearcats with freshman Sam Meece competing in the discus while Brooke Catherine will take part in the women’s pole vault at 9:30 a.m. On the track, both Lattimore and Haisha Bisiolu will race in the first round of the 200m dash, which is schedule to being at 3:25 p.m.
2018 NCAA East Preliminary Round
May 24 • Day 1 • USF Track & Field Stadium • Tampa, Fla.
100m Dash – First Round
44. Tiona Lattimore • 11.72 • eliminated
High Jump – First Round
t-1. Loretta Blaut • 1.80m (5-10.75) • advances to NCAA Finals (Saturday, June 9, at 3 p.m. PT)
Shot Put – First Round
40. Ashley Williams • 14.76m (48-05.25) • eliminated
Long Jump – First Round
30. Austin Edwards • 7.32m (24-04.25) • eliminated