UPDATED: Kent State’s Barnes heads to Saturday finals of Armory Invitational

Andrew Bugel

To be a sprinter, one has to be fast, relentless and willing to push the extra distance.

Many teams don’t have that star sprinter that is consistent week in and week out.

Junior William Barnes was determined to make a statement on Saturday at the Track Armory Invitational in New York City.

After advancing to the finals Friday, Barnes ran in the 60-meter hurdles finals Saturday at 4:38 p.m. but came up just a bit short. He finished second in the finals with a time of 7.78 seconds.

Barnes will join the rest of the Kent State track and field team as it splits up to head to Akron for the Akron Invitational and the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Indiana on Friday and Saturday.

Kent State’s track and field team doesn’t have that problem. As long as juniors William Barnes and Wayne Gordon are on the track, the team has a chance to win every week.

Barnes and fellow teammate Wayne Gordon competed Friday in the Armory Track Invitational, one of the biggest invitational events in the country hosted in New York City.

Gordon competed first in the 11th preliminary heat for the men’s 60-meter dash. He sprinted to a third-place finish with a time of 6.98 seconds but wasn’t able to reach the semifinals held later in the day.

Barnes ran in the 60-meter hurdles preliminary and won his heat race with a time of 7.91 seconds, which was good enough to advance him to the semifinals a little more than an hour later.

Barnes met that challenge head-on and finished third with a time of 7.83 seconds. The time qualified him for finals Saturday.

“(Barnes) was up for the challenge,” said Bill Lawson, Kent State track and field and cross country.

Assistant coach Michael Schober said he was equally impressed with Barnes.

“He is getting faster each round, and I am hoping tomorrow he comes out and keeps moving forward for the finals,” Schober said.

Lawson also added that Barnes is ahead of his game.

“He is maturing and getting better with each event,” Lawson said. “We couldn’t be any prouder of what he has accomplished.”

Contact Andrew Bugel at [email protected].