Track and field fine-tunes performances in weekend meet

Megan Moore

Despite holding out several athletes to rest up for the Mid-American Conference Championships next weekend, the Kent State track and field team still performed well at its meet Saturday.

The Flashes hosted the Kent State Tune-Up at the Fieldhouse Saturday. Many teams, including Kent State, arrived at the Fieldhouse with intentions of preparing for their conference championship meets.

Several Kent State women’s runners had standout performances throughout the day.

Freshman middle distance runner Audrey Maheu broke the school’s indoor track record with a time of 2 minutes, 49.64 seconds in the women’s 1000-meter run, winning the event. Junior distance runner Kelly Gephart finished third with a time of 2:52.66.

Before coming away with the win, Maheu was worried her mindset would throw her off.

“When I first got here I was focused more on next week, so I was kind of worried because I couldn’t really get into it,” Maheu said. “But once we lined up and got on the starting line, I felt it.”

While Maheu was the only runner to break a school record, other women’s runners had strong performances.

Junior middle distance runner Jessica Lhotsky won the 600-meter run with a time of 1:32.22, and senior hurdler Sha-Tira Snell took first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.71.

Distance coach Mark Croghan was impressed with his team’s performance and wants his team to be prepared for the MAC Championship meet this weekend.

“At this point we’re probably like everybody else coming into the conference,” Croghan said. “The hay’s in the barn, so to speak; we’re not going to do a whole lot of hard workouts.”

Sophomore pole vaulter Susan Echard took first place in the women’s pole vault with a height of 12 feet, 1.5 inches. Freshman jumper Diana Dumitrescu finished in first with a jump of 18-10.5 in the women’s long jump.

Senior thrower LeVania Henderson pulled off two first-place wins in the women’s shot put and weight throw. She threw a distance of 50-3.5 in the shot put and 62-11.5 in the weight throw.

The men’s runners also offered promising performances in Saturday’s meet.

Sophomore sprinter Destin Heasley set a personal best in the men’s 800-meter run, coming in first with a time of 1:49.77. Senior distance runner Tony Jordanek finished third with a time of 1:50.69, and sophomore distance runner John Minen took fourth with a time of 1:50.83.

Heasley said he was pleased with setting a personal record.

“I’ve been training pretty hard,” Heasley said. “I’ll probably ease it down this week (to rest).”

The men’s throwers had positive results at the meet as well. Sophomore thrower Matthew Pfleger placed first in the men’s weight throw with a distance of 64-4. Junior thrower Anthony Connor placed third, throwing a distance of 63-4.25.

Kent State coach Bill Lawson is looking forward to seeing everybody compete Friday and Saturday in the MAC Championship meet at the Fieldhouse.

“Next weekend will be the first weekend that we put everybody on the track together, both men and women, full strength and first time indoors,” Lawson said. “We’re exactly where we want to be, and we’re excited to host the MAC Championships.”

Contact sports correspondent Megan Moore at [email protected].