Three Kent State athletes take MAC track and field titles

Ignatius Ogbu Sports Reporter

Kent State track and field athletes won three championships at this week’s Mid-American Conference indoor meet.

The men’s team finished third out of four teams while the women’s team finished sixth out of 12 teams in the meet at Central Michigan University.

“But we got some good strides forward on the women’s side,” assistant track coach Laron Brown said. “Last year we were at ninth place, and now we moved up to sixth.”

Gabby Bailey won the women’s shot put title with a throw of 55′ 3″ on her first attempt. The was more than four feet farther than she threw at the Kent State Tune Up a week earlier.  

“She’s former All-American, so it was inevitable that she hit it big,” Brown said. “It was great to see it at a championship meet. I think it was just a matter of time for it to happen.”

Bailey said she had been preparing mentally for the meet all week.

“In training, I was focusing on being slow and in control and not moving so fast that I can’t feel my position,” she said. “Practice really did paid off.”

That winning throw also qualified Bailey for the Division I track and field championship on March 11-13 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Jake Wickey earned a first-place finish in the weight throw with a personal best of 73′-8.75.” That distance is the fifth best in the nation this season.

“He’s been throwing excellently for the last couple of weeks, which is awesome,” Brown said. “He was heavily favored going into the event this weekend, so it’s good to see him follow through.”

Freshman Leah Pasqualetti won the women’s pole with a height of 13′ 7.75. She was named freshman field performer of the year.

Drew Johnson earned All-MAC honors and finished second in the men’s mile run in 4:10.15.

“He’s a machine,” Brown said. “Coming back two days in a row and running a mile is very competitive. It was awesome and exciting.” 

Alexander Shields secured a second-place finish in the men’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.04. Shields also earned all-MAC honors.

Jacob Mally secured a second place finish in the heptathlon.

Ignatius is a sportswriter. Contact him at [email protected].