The 2016 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships came to a close on Saturday afternoon inside the CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala., with the University of Cincinnati program sending two women to compete in the high jump finals and both coming away with All-America honors with their finishes. Senior Erika Hurd placed sixth overall for her second-consecutive indoor Top 8 finish while redshirt freshman Loretta Blaut came up one place shy of a Top 8 showing, taking ninth overall.
Hurd, competing in her third-consecutive NCAA meet and second indoor competition in a row, posted a huge improvement in her final standing from the 2015 meet as she took 15th one year ago before claiming sixth this season. The seventh-place finisher outdoor, the 2016 USTFCCCA All-America First Team honoree cleared 1.84m (6-00.50) on the day, slipping to sixth based upon overall misses in the competition. She cleared the first two bars of the competition on her first attempt before needing a second attempt to clear 1.84m. She nearly cleared 1.87m, which would have tied a school record.
Blaut, in her first collegiate indoor campaign after sitting out 2015 with an injury, competed well as she cleared the opening bar on her second attempt before clearing 1.81m (5-11.25) on her first attempt. At 1.84m, Blaut nearly cleared the bar, but was unsuccessful in her three attempts, settling for ninth place overall. By virtue of placing among the Top 16 nationally, Blaut earned the recognition of USTFCCCA All-America Second Team, her first national award.
Historically, the four All-America accolades attained this weekend by the Bearcats ties for the most all-time in program history after four awards were claimed in 2012 when three awards were claimed on the women’s side and one by the men. To set the two campaigns apart, the 2016 honorees tallied three, first-team selections, bettering the two posted in 2012. Hurd and Blaut’s combined honors also marks the first time in program history that two Bearcats earned All-America honors in the same event at the same meet (men and women, indoor and outdoor included).
In the final team standings, both Bearcats squads ended up with 4.0 team points, which placed the men tied for 44th and the women tied for 42nd. For the women, the team placement is its second-highest all-time, bettering a 58th-place showing in 2001 and sitting behind a 34th-place showing in 2012, the only other times the women have scored at the NCAA indoor meet. For the men, their tie for 44th place ranks as its third-best all-time (in four scores), surpassed by a 12th-place showing in 1972 and 26th in 1973. UC finished 51st last year.
With the conclusion of the events in Birmingham, the 2016 collegiate indoor season comes to an end. Next up for the Bearcats, following one week off, will be a Spring Break trip to the Southeast with the distance runners heading to the Raleigh Relays at NC State on March 25-26 while the remainder of the traveling competitors will travel to Coral Gables, Fla., on March 25 for the Hurricane Twilight.
2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships – Day 2 (3/12/16)
Women’s High Jump
- Erika Hurd – 1.84m (6-00.50) – All-American (First Team)
- Loretta Blaut – 1.81m (5-11.25) – All-American (Second Team)
- Oregon – 53.0
- Arkansas – 50.0
- Georgia – 45.0
- Texas – 44.0
- Notre Dame – 35.0
t42. Cincinnati – 4.00
- Oregon – 62.0
- Arkansas – 39.0
- Tennessee – 34.0
- LSU – 28.0
- Texas – 25.0
t44. Cincinnati – 4.00