Delophont makes Kent State a second home


The Kent State women’s track and field team competes in the 800 meter race against Akron at the Kent Field House on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. Kent lost 80-71.

Samantha Lough

Kent State senior track athlete Dior Delophont had a long road to travel to get to where she is is today.

Delophont traveled more than 14 hours across the Atlantic Ocean to go to fashion school and compete on the track team. She found Kent State in an online search for fashion schools where she could compete in division one track.

“I saw that Kent had a fashion school and division one team, so I reached out to the coach asking if he wanted me (on the team),” Dior said. “I ended up choosing Kent State because coach Phil Rickaby visited France and brought all the fashion school information with him.

“I was like yes,” Dior said. “They care about my studies, that’s the school I want (to attend).”

It’s not every day that a coach books a 14 hour flight to France to meet with a prospective recruit, but assistant jumps coach Phil Rickaby sensed something special about Delophont and had to book that flight.

“We knew Dior was a special talent coming out of high school. It is hard to find an athlete that can compete at such a high level in multiple events,” Rickaby said. “We knew that having her on our team would make the entire program better, so we decided we should show her just how high our level of interest was by flying to see the family.”

Prior to coming to Kent, Delophont placed fifth at the Junior World championships in the high jump and won the gold medal at the European Olympic festival.

In her career as a Flash, Delophont has been a 10-time MAC champion, a three time all-American and has her name stamped in the record books for both indoor and outdoor track.

Coming into her senior year,  Delophont injured her knee in the pre season. Despite this injury, Dior finished first in the high and triple jump at the Spire Invitational and placed first in the high jump at the Kent State Tune-Up this past weekend.

“I had knee tendonitis earlier this season and it’s best to stop before it gets worse,” Dior said. “We have a great staff. I was off for two weeks, but it’s better to be patient and take time off early than (to) be out longer in the end.”   

Dior missed the Golden Flashes Gala and the Akron Dual earlier this season. Rickaby is proud of Delophont’s comeback this season.

“Dior’s understanding of the technical elements in her events allows her to continue to succeed despite any setbacks she might have,” Rickaby said.

Dior is ranked second in the triple and high jump in the Kent State indoor record books and she’s ranked third in the long jump. In the MAC, Delophont is ranked first in the triple jump after a jump of 12.98m (42’ 7.02”) and she’s ranked second in the high jump with a height of 1.80m (5’10. 7”).

“Although I’m performing well, I’m not performing at my best,” Dior said. “Usually by now I’ve qualified for nationals and I haven’t yet. That’s my goal for the Mid-American Championship this weekend as I’m competing in the triple, long, and high jump.”

“My goals for the conference championships are to help the team as much as possible, to get first and to qualify for the indoor national meet,” Delophont said. “I am never satisfied; I always want to be better.”

Samantha Lough is the sports reporter for the Kent Stater. For more information contact her at [email protected].