Kent State’s Diana Dumitrescu finished her sophomore indoor track and field season as the nation’s eighth-best collegiate women’s pentathlete at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
Dumitrescu earned 4,055 points, breaking her own school record of 4,016 set in February. She was a point shy of seventh place and six away from sixth place.
Finishing in the top eight in the pentathlon also earned her All-American designation.
“Maybe I don’t realize what it means to be All-American, but I feel like this is the best thing that could ever happen,” Dumitrescu said. “This eighth-place made me more confident and more determined to improve my result in the future.”
Kent State coach Bill Lawson agreed with Dumitrescu while praising her accomplishments this season.
“It’s been a great indoor season for Diana Dumitrescu,” Lawson said. “She has had a really good season being an individual MAC Champion, part of a team MAC championship, broke the school record twice in the pentathlon, breaking the school record in the long jump and now an NCAA All-American.”
Dumitrescu broke another school record during the long jump. Her leap of 19’-9.75” was a quarter-inch farther than the mark set by LaShannon Foster in 2003.
“Assistant coach Phil Rickaby did a great job with her in the long jump today,” Lawson said. “The long jump and the shot put catapulted her into the elite group of girls.”
Sitting in 10th place after the 60-meter hurdles and high jump, Dumitrescu’s third-place finish in both the long jump and shot put moved her into fourth place overall before the 800-meter run dropped her to eighth place.
“She recorded a seasonal best in the 800 meters, not one of her strongest events, to close out the day,” Lawson said.
Dumitrescu is the eighth woman in Kent State track and field history to earn indoor All-American honors. She now owns two school indoor records along with her outdoor heptathlon record.
“It was such an unbelievable year for Diana,” Lawson said. “She has been such a great addition to the program. We are very proud of her. She was only one point out of seventh and six points out of sixth in a very close competition. It was an unbelievable season and a great meet for her.”
Dumitrescu has won consecutive Mid-American Conference championships in the pentathlon, and now she will move outdoors and look to both win the MAC heptathlon title and advance to the NCAA Championships for the second straight season.
Lawson said the best is still yet to come in Dumitrescu’s collegiate career.
“We are very proud of her,” Lawson said. “I think there is going to be a lot more accolades for her in the future.”
Contact sports reporter Jody Michael at [email protected]