Flashes capture five events at MAC championships


Kent State’s Shaquille Perry finishes first in his heat of the 400m dash with a time of 50.84 seconds during the Kent State Tune Up on Feb. 17, 2018 at the Field House. [FILE]

Laurene Darby

The Kent State men’s and women’s track and field teams won five events at the Mid-American Conference championships at Bowling Green this weekend.

Riak Reese won two men’s events: the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.73 seconds and the 200-meter dash at 21.27 seconds. His time in the 60-meter dash was not far off the MAC record held by Bobby Cruse, a former Kent State runner, who had a time of 6.65 seconds.

“It felt great to get those two wins in, mainly because this was just my second MAC meet since my freshman year when I had to leave school,” Reese said. “Getting back into it and helping the team out in this way was a special moment.”

Jake Wickey took first in the men’s weight throw with a distance of 20.13 meters.

Wickey was followed by Gabrielle Figueroa, who placed first in the women’s weight throw with a distance of 21.31 meters. Figueroa also flirted with a MAC record, as her throw was only .55 meters off the mark set by Akron’s Brittany Funk in 2015.

Craig Stevens Jr. placed first in the triple jump with a distance of 15.89 meters, followed by Anthony Milliner at 15.01 meters.

The Flashes had an athlete come up just short in both the men’s and women’s long jump. Cayla Carey placed second with her jump of 6.05 meters, and TJ Lawson also came in as the runner-up with a distance of 7.54 meters, just .11 off the MAC record set by Cott Mayle in 2007.

Samantha Tollerud won the pole vault with a height of 13 feet, 9 inches.

David Paliscak placed first in the men’s shot put with a 17.69-meter throw.

Isaac Agyemang placed second in the men’s heptathlon with 5,135 points. Agyemang won the long jump at 6.89 meters and tied for first in the high jump with Aaron Taylor from Central Michigan and Jacob Mally, also from Kent State.

Reese also went on to be named the most valuable player of the team at the end of the championship, noting his victories from recent meets.

“It was an honor to get the MVP as well,” Reese said. “I’m blessed with the support of the Lord so much, and he never lets me down. I also have a lot of support from those closest to me, so it was fun to share that moment with them too.”

As a team, the women’s team came in fourth place out of 12 teams with 64 points. The men came in second place out of five teams with 128.

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