Henderson pulls off hat trick at All-Ohio Championship

Megan Moore

Going into this weekend’s All-Ohio Championship, senior thrower LeVania Henderson had already qualified for the NCAA track and field regionals in hammer and discus. Saturday, she pulled off the hat trick.

Henderson won the women’s shot put with a regional-qualifying distance of 50 feet, 10.75 inches, leading Kent State on the second day of the All-Ohio Championship.

“That just shows the strength and the depth of our men and women’s throwing group,” Kent State coach Bill Lawson said.

Senior Kimberley Hamilton and freshman Brian Florek also gave promising performances in the meet this weekend, winning the men and women’s javelin throw.

Hamilton sealed the win with a throw of 158-7, beating the second-place finisher by 22 feet. Florek won in his event with a throw of 205-2.

“It was a bright spot (Friday), winning both the men and women’s javelin,” Lawson said. “They did a good job.”

Freshman thrower Drew Ebersole won the discus throw with a distance of 165-6. Junior thrower Brittni Borrero won the women’s event with a distance of 171-2.

Outside of the throwers, the men’s and women’s runners performed well in the 800-meter run. Junior middle distance runner Jessica Lhotsky won the women’s event with a time of 2 minutes, 7.31 seconds, setting the All-Ohio record in the 800.

Sophomore sprinter Destin Heasley took second in the men’s event with a time of 1:50.63, just missing the regional qualifying mark.

Overall, the men’s team had some strong performances throughout the weekend meet.

Senior distance runner Tony Jordanek won the 1500-meter run with a season-best and regional-qualifying time of 3:46.27. Sophomore distance runner John Minen placed third with a time of 3:48.80.

Sophomore thrower Matthew Pfleger placed second in the hammer throw with a distance of 199-11.

“It wasn’t quite his best of the season, but it was still a good performance,” Lawson said.

Senior jumper Gerald Mickie took second in the triple jump with a jump of 46-2.50, while freshman jumper Robert Falchi placed third in the long jump with a jump of 23-4.75.

The women’s team also had some strong performances. Freshman Diana Dumitrescu won the women’s triple jump with a jump of 39-10.75. Rachel Crafton took second in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.48, just missing the regional qualifying mark.

In the two-day events, the women’s team finished fourth out of 12 teams in the heptathlon, while the men’s team finished fourth out of 12 in the decathlon.

Lawson said many athletes didn’t compete this weekend because he wants them to rest for the Mid-American Conference Championships, which begin May 14.

“Team score-wise, we’re not up at the top because we didn’t go in with that goal,” Lawson said. “In four weeks it will be a different story: We’ll be going for the titles.”

Contact sports correspondent Megan Moore at [email protected].