Track and field doesn’t disappoint in dual meet

Megan Moore

At the Kent State track and field teams’ first official meet Friday at Akron, neither the men’s nor women’s team failed to impress coach Bill Lawson and his staff.

Though the women’s team fell short of a win, losing 87-62, the men’s team ran a tight race and came out with a victory of 76-75.

“We were very pleased as a staff, and obviously it’s always a good night to get a victory; the men won 76-75,” Lawson said. “I thought the women had a good strong track meet.”

Senior thrower LeVania Henderson hit a provisional national qualifying mark and was only one foot off of the school record, finishing second place in the women’s weight throw with a distance of 62 feet, 6 inches.

Another strong performance came from junior distance runner Kelly Gephart, who won the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 57.58 seconds.

“She’s running very well,” said Lawson. “I’m very pleased with Kelly.”

Her performance put her in the top five all-time mile runs at Kent State.

“We’ve had a tough few weeks of training,” Gephart said. “My coach and I were both very happy with how I performed. It was a 7-second (personal record) for me and the first time I’ve ever been under five minutes, and it is my first collegiate title.”

Jessica Lhotsky, a junior middle distance runner, had a time of 5:01.69, also a personal record .

Sophomore Kimberly Preston placed third in the vault, reaching a height of 11-5.75.

On the men’s team, sophomore sprinter Stephen Thompson came out victorious in the 60-meter dash, even though he was not favored to win the event. He set a personal record of 6.89 seconds.

“I had a really good start, (but) I think I could have finished the race off a lot better,” Thompson said. “I’ve just got to apply what I do in practice onto the actual track.”

Sophomore jumper Andrew Linebarger won the men’s triple jump with a personal-best of 48-10.

“I was really proud of my performance,” Linebarger said. “That was a big personal record for me.”

Diana Dumitrescu, from Romania, made her mark in her first meet on Friday, winning the triple jump and coming in second in the long jump.

Overall, Lawson said he was impressed with the team’s performance and behavior at the meet and looks forward to the weeks ahead.

“We did what we were supposed to do,” Lawson said. “It was a business trip . we’re in heavy training right now, but I’m looking forward to seeing where people will be in four weeks at the (Mid-American Conference) Championship.”

Contact sports correspondent Megan Moore

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