Track athletes earn All-American honors at NCAA Championships


Junior Diana Dumitrescu is on the All-America first team for the second outdoor season.

Two Kent State women’s track and field athletes earned status as All-Americans with their high-ranking performances in the NCAA Championships last weekend at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Junior Diana Dumitrescu and freshman Melissa Kurzdorfer finished eighth and 12th in the women’s heptathlon and hammer throw, respectively.

Dumitrescu is appearing on the All-America first team for her second consecutive outdoor season. She ended her season two spots below her sixth-place finish at last year’s national championships.

She improved in the high jump, shot put and javelin throw, while falling short of last year’s marks in the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, long jump and 800-meter run.

“Before the 800-meter race I knew I was in eighth place,” Dumitrescu said, “but I didn’t know if the race would change something. I ran a decent race. It wasn’t my personal record but it definitely helped me to stay on eighth place.”

Dumitrescu threw the javelin a personal-best distance in her final try, even though it came after an hour-long lightning delay.

“After my first two throws, which were not so good, the meet was delayed because of the lightning,” she said, “and after that I had just one throw left, which needed to be a good one. Fortunately, my last throw was a personal record and helped me a lot to be on the podium at the end.”

Her best event was the shot put, in which her 43-foot-two 1/4-inch toss finished second among the heptathletes.

Kurzdorfer ended her freshman season with a 193-foot-two-inch hammer throw. While not long enough to advance her to the finals, the toss placed her on the All-America second team.

Only two freshmen finished ahead of Kurzdorfer in her event.

Kent State also had a national qualifier competing in the men’s hammer throw. Matt Pfleger, a senior from Garrettsville, Ohio, completed his college career with a throw of exactly 200 feet, placing him 20th.

Contact Jody Michael at [email protected].