Track and Field national qualifier shows best from around the area

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Mi’Angel Daniels vaults herself over the hurdle in the 60-meter hurdles during the Doug Raymond national qualifier held at the Kent State Fieldhouse. Daniels finished seventh in the finals of the event.

John Conley

The Doug Raymond national qualifier held at the Kent State Fieldhouse featured 16 Track and Field teams from the surrounding area all battling for a trip to Alabama for Nationals.

The Fieldhouse was packed full of athletes and parents all cheering on as the day went on. Teams not in the Mid-American Conference included Ashland, Cleveland State, Pitt, Windsor, Findlay and Youngstown State. The top 16 athletes in various national qualifiers around the country will earn a trip to the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Alabama.

In total, Kent State tallied seven individual winners throughout the day with two new career bests tallied as well.

Sophomore Jake Wickey took first place in the weight throwing event with a toss of 65’-10.50”.

Wickey has a career best throw of 66’-3”and will look to top that mark in the coming weeks. His score currently ranks 31st in the nation.

“It felt great to see other competitors we don’t normally see, and I had a lot of fun out there,” Wickey said. “My focus now will be on these next two weeks and trying to get past that mark.”

Freshman Asa Hoderick took first in the 200-meter dash clocking in with a career best 21.48, narrowly beating second place by 2 thousandths of a second. Hoderick also took a close second place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.88 ahead of teammate Brandon Harris, who recorded a 6.87. The two finished with a margin by 7 hundredths of a second between them.

Senior Samory Fraga broke his own indoor long jump record with a new distance of 25’-05.25”. Fraga held the previous record at 25’-4.5” which pushes him to 21st in the NCAA rankings.

Junior Christian Champen continues to show why he is one of the best pole vaulters in the nation, finishing first with a height of 17’-00.75”. Champen sits in a tie for 20th in the NCAA at a height of 17’-5.75”.

On the women’s side, junior Nicole Yeargin finished first in the 200-meter dash with a career best time of 24.05, which places her third in Kent State’s indoor records.

“I had a good practice yesterday leading up to today, so I felt confident in today’s race,” Yeargin said. “I kept telling myself if I can have a good start off the blocks, I would do well.”

Sophomore Maddie Dunlap finished the 3,000-meter first with a career best time of 10:05. Dunlap broke her previous record by 3 seconds.

Kent State will compete again on Feb. 16 when they host the Kent State Tune Up at the Kent State Fieldhouse. The Tune Up is to get competitors geared up for the MAC Championships the following weekend, which will also be held at Kent State.

John Conley is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]