Delophont finishes indoor track season with multiple All-American accolades

Photo courtesy of Kent State Athletics.

Photo courtesy of Kent State Athletics.

Richie Mulhall

Freshman Dior Delophont jumped her way into Kent State history this past weekend when she wrapped up the Flashes’ indoor track season with two All-American accolades at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by the University of Arkansas.

Delophont placed fifth in both the triple and long jumps to earn All-American status twice at the same event. With this impressive feat, Delophont became the first Kent State athlete, male or female, to earn multiple All-American honors at a single indoor national meet.

“Dior’s had an outstanding first indoor season here at Kent State, and not only did she become an All-American, she became a double All-American, so that was fantastic and outstanding,” head coach Bill Lawson said. “More importantly, I think she was ranked 11th and 12th in those respective events coming in, and [she] obviously outperformed her form charts and was fifth in both [the high jump and triple jump].”

Delophont, who was named the Most Valuable Performer at the Mid-American Conference Championships, jumped a height of 6’-01.50” in the high jump to tie the school record Friday. As a freshman, she is only the second Flash to earn All-American status in the event, joining Alex Church, who accomplished the task in 2003.

In the triple jump Saturday, Delophont leaped 43’-08.00,” which was enough to cement her name into second place in school history. She recorded this personal-best distance on her first attempt.

“Those two school records are two of our best records, that high jump and that triple jump, so I was very impressed by what Dior accomplished,” Lawson said.

Junior Ann Marie Duffus and senior Melinda Sawnor also competed this weekend in the long jump and 800-meter dash respectively, and both finished 13th in their events, receiving Second Team All-American honors.

Duffus, who recently had one of the best performances of her career last weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational, jumped 19’-06.00.” Lawson said usually as the meet goes on for Duffus, she jumps farther; however, she had to get to the final round to get three more jumps.

“She needed about another 15 centimeters to get three more jumps, and I think if she’d done that, she would have been in the top eight,” Lawson said. “She’s just gonna learn from this experience that we have to be better prepared to have a big jump in the first couple jumps. That’s something Anne Marie will gain with experience.”

Sawnor, who is coming off of her best 800-meter time at the Alex Wilson Invitational, placed sixth in her heat with a time of 2:08:48. Lawson said Sawnor got tripped up during the race and had a difficult time closing the gap and gaining ground on her opponents.

“She got gapped about 10 meters and she tried to recover, but everybody’s good and it’s hard to recover from that,” Lawson said. “It was unfortunate, but in her words, she gained a very valuable and important experience that she’s gonna take to the outdoor meet.”

As a team, the women racked up eight points, which placed them in a tie for 25th place.

Kent State will return March 29-30 in Raleigh, N.C. to kick off the outdoor season.

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].