Lawson and Yeargin set records for KSU track at Tennessee Relays


Junior TJ Lawson down the runway of the Pole Vault. Lawson’s top mark for Pole Vault was 4.7 meters.

Brandon Lewis

The outdoor season continues to be record-breaking for the Kent State men’s and women’s track teams, as the Flashes broke two more records this weekend at the Tennessee Relays.

T.J. Lawson, the redshirt junior from Stow, broke the Kent State record Friday for most points in a single weekend in the decathlon with 7,876, beating the Brendon Falconer 1998 record by 11 points. Georgia’s Johannes Erm was the only collegiate athlete who posted a better score this year entering the weekend.

“I had a rough indoor season dealing with injuries that held me back, but with great training, I have been able to get to this point, and it feels really good to put my name in the Kent State record book,” Lawson said. “I competed against Erm before. He was one spot ahead of me last year at the indoor championships, so I look forward to competing against him again and trying to top him this year.”

Lawson said he’s been trying to get the top score since last year.

“Me, my coaches and my teammates know exactly the amount of points we need for a certain event to break a record,” Lawson said. “I knew I was ready to break a personal record this week, and my goal for next week is to get above 8,000 points.”

Nicole Yeargin, a junior from Bowie, Maryland, ran the 200m dash for the first time and finished with a time of 23.26 to break the record for fastest time in Flashes history. The previous time was 23.64 by Shanequa Williams in 2013. Yeargin’s time was good enough for seventh overall in the competition and third among wind-legal times.

Assistant Coach Laron Brown said Yeargin’s indoor season trained her to break the record outdoors.

“She has the record for indoors as well,” Coach Brown. Her work ethic is bar-none. She always has a great attitude when training.”

Along with breaking the Kent State record for fastest sprinted time in the 200m dash, Yeargin also ran the 400m dash, finishing with a career outdoor personal-best of 54.76, which is the 10th fastest time in Kent State history.

Coach Brown said to break two records in one day is impressive.

“What she did this weekend is hard to do, and the time she did it in is even more amazing,” Brown said. “It’s not unheard of for athletes to run the 200m dash and 400m dash in the same day, but what was special about her’s is she did it while breaking school records.”

Jacob Mally finished fifth in the decathlon with 6,832 points. With that mark, he moves into ninth place all time in Kent State history in decathlon points.

In the only throwing competitions Thursday,  Jake Wickey placed 10th in the hammer throw with the mark of 196’-1” while Bradley Heck placed 14th in the javelin throw with a top throw of 184’-9”.

In the long jump Friday, Samory Fraga placed second with a score of 25’-4.50”, and Da’One Jordan recorded a personal-best score of 23’-5.50” to finish in eighth.

The Flashes will next head to the Virginia Challenge April 19-20.

Brandon Lewis is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]