Track and field successful in first outdoor meet of season

Andrew Bugel

The Kent State track and field team kicked off its outdoor season in North Carolina with the Raleigh Relays on Friday and Saturday.

But before they competed in Raleigh, the team traveled to Coastal Carolina University for three days to train.

Coach Bill Lawson said that training paid off.

“We pushed our players really hard this week to get ready for the outdoor season,” Lawson said. “We had our throwers throwing 40, 50 times just trying to get everybody geared up, and we were lucky to have beautiful weather during that period.”

The first day of the relays had miserable weather, but the Flashes proved they were ready to face the elements.

The team saw success in the 1600-meter sprint medley events from both the men and women.

The men’s team finished third overall and was led by juniors William Barnes and Danny Young and sophomores Matthew Tobin and Andrew O’Leary. The squad finished with a time of 3:26.14. The women’s team registered an 11th-place finish. Freshman Tyler Williams, sophomore Jorian Ordway and seniors Kaila Gardner and Lynnese Beyan made up the team that finished in 4:11.60.

Redshirt sophomore Ada Nicholson-Burley finished second place in discus with a throw of 45.18 meters. Freshman Rebecca Leppelmeier finished eighth in the same event with a distance of 44.17 meters. 

Freshman Lauren Pannell tied for fourth place in the high jump with a height of 1.65 meters. 

Senior Xavier Braxton capitalized on the success of his indoor season and started the outdoor season right with a fifth place in the long jump invitational with a best mark of 6.81 meters.

Saturday proved to be even more successful for the team.

In the women’s pole vault finals, senior Hannah Sailar from Michigan State and Kent State senior Morgan Estes tied for second with a jump of 3.65 meters. They were only 0.15 meters behind first place.

Junior Jackie Leppelmeier finished second in the women’s hammer throw with a distance of 57.57 meters. Meanwhile, Senior Kyle Tywon had with a 20th place finish out of 59 competitors in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 55.42 seconds.

Sophomore Lauren Burnett finished 14th in the women’s 800-meter relay finals. She finished in 2:14.44.

“Our hard training really led to success for us,” Lawson said. “Plus, it gave the team a chance to bond which is really beneficial, and it was good to see everyone come together.”

The team will travel back to Ohio for the Northeast Ohio Quad on April 3 at Akron.

Contact Andrew Bugel at [email protected].