Kent State women’s track rumbles while men stumble

Daniel Staimpel

The Kent State women’s track team handily defeated rival Akron on Friday 91-59 at the Akron Kent Dual. For sophomore Shanequa Williams, who is from Akron, the meet meant a little more than most.

Williams missed last year’s dual against Akron after being diagnosed with mono.

“Our team had a lot to prove because we’re mostly freshmen and sophomores,” Williams said. “We wanted to get the points for the Wagon Wheel. Our seniors stepped up to lead the team.”

Williams also stepped up with her performances. She won two individual events: The 200 and 400-meter dash, as well as being part of the winning 4×400-meter relay team.

Leading the way for Kent State on the women’s side was Williams, junior Melinda Sawnor, who placed first in the 800-meter run and the mile, freshman Chanitta Westbrooks, who won the 60-meter dash and placed second in the 800, and grad student Penina Acayo who won the triple jump and placed second in the long jump.

Coach Bill Lawson said he was happy with how the women’s team finished.

“I’m proud of the program,” Lawson said. “I’m proud of the coaches, and I’m proud of the girls. We wanted to send a message with our women and we did. We didn’t have everything out there tonight either. I’m ready to see how we’ll look in four to five weeks.”

Lawson was proud of his men’s team as well, despite the 79-72 loss. He was especially happy with the men’s high jump, with Flashes finishing first through fourth in the event.

Kent State senior Dean Wood, junior Kenneth Agee and senior Ruben Belen all finished in the top three in the men’s high jump.

Winning both the 60-meter dash and the 200, senior Princeton Bryson led the way for the men with two wins. The men also took first and second in the 400-meter dash with sophomore Laron Brown III winning and sophomore Dillon Corbett finishing right behind him.

Lawson said he was overall impressed with the performances of his track team in its first scored meet of the year.

The Flashes’ next event will be competing in the Kent State Invitational hosted in the Kent State field house Saturday. The invitational is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Contact Daniel Staimpel at [email protected].