Kent State shuttle hurdles record broken at Drake Relays


Kent State freshman sprinter Shaquille Perry lines up on the blocks as he prepares for his track event at the Northeast Ohio Quad in Akron on April 7, 2018. The Flashes won seven events on the weekend.

Laurene Darby

Four Kent State track and field athletes contributed in breaking a school record in the shuttle hurdle relay this weekend. Of the four athletes, two of them competed for the first time in the event.

“It’s a pretty good feeling because it’s always fun to put your mark down,” said Ryan Looser, one of the four. “Going into the event, we knew it was breakable because of our individual hurdling capabilities.”

Looser, Dairius Ragland, Jacob Mally, and TJ Lawson took second place in the shuttle hurdles with a time of 59.71 seconds, which led to a new school record.

“It was a fun experience,” Lawson said. “We had a great crowd, and the weather was perfect. My teammates and I all did a good job to capture second place and break the KSU school record.”

The Flashes won three events at the Drake Relays this weekend in Iowa.

Riak Reese placed first in the men’s 100-meter dash with a time of 10.63 seconds, which Reese said the crowd and atmosphere had a lot to do with.

“I think the environment as a whole had a positive impact on my performance,” Reese said. “Meets like these pump you up because you get so much energy from the atmosphere. I still had to dial in and focus like I would any meet. It is a bigger stage, and I always want to represent Kent and my family well.”

Grace Tennant made first place in the women’s discus throw with a distance of 45.39 meters.

All-American Craig Stevens Jr. placed first in the men’s triple jump with a mark of 15.56 meters.

“The crowd adds more energy for me, which usually leads to bigger jumps,” Stevens Jr. said. “I just focus on what I need to do and not let the crowd hype me up too much. My technique is getting better, and I’m happy with my performance this weekend, but there’s still room for improvement.”

Lawson, who usually competes in the decathlon, placed second in the men’s long jump with a mark of 7.36 meters.

“It definitely was nice to give the body a bit of a rest and focus on certain events this weekend,” Lawson said. “Also, lots of the events I did this weekend are great training for the decathlon.”

Douglas Moorer placed second in the discus throw at 50.50 meters.

Walter Petzel took third place in the men’s shot put with a throw of 16.68 meters.

Abria Williams, Bri Collier, Melina Owens and Benja Duff combined to place third in the women’s shuttle hurdles at 56.46 seconds.

Gana Lopez, Nicole Yeargin, Cayla Carey and Bennisha Nunn placed fourth in the women’s 4×100 Hy-Vee cup relay.

Tyler Williams, Yeargin, Lauren Burnett, and Irene Skinner took fourth in the women’s 4×400 Hy-Vee Cup relay.

Maria Falda and Sam Tollerud tied for third in the women’s pole vault with a height of 4.05 meters.

The Flashes are set to compete in the Campbell-Wright Open in Akron on May 4 and 5.

Laurene Darby is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].