Track and field opens indoor season

Richie Scheuermann

Kent State track and field coach Bill Lawson held a large amount of his roster out of Saturday’s Doug Raymond Invitational, but he saw enough of the team in its first meet of the indoor season to come away pleased.

Saturday’s meet marked the first invitational at the Kent State Field House since its renovations, which include an entirely new track and a new video scoreboard. The track’s surface is the same as the one used in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and the Field House is the only U.S. indoor facility to have such a track.

Lawson said he was impressed with the performance of several athletes, including sophomore Kim Preston, who set a personal record in winning the pole vault.

“Kim Preston did a great job getting a lifetime personal record,” Lawson said.

Preston cleared a height of 11 feet, 5.75 inches.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Preston said regarding her personal record. “It’s a big confidence builder.”

Several other Kent State athletes got off to strong starts.

Junior thrower Samantha Fetter set a personal record in the shot put, with a distance of 48-8.

Sophomore Princeton Bryson also fared well in the men’s 200-meter dash, finishing second in the event with a time of 21.7 seconds.

“I was really proud of my performance,” Bryson said.

Bryson added there is much room to improve while the season progresses.

“I could tell I was dying out in my last phases,” he said.

Sophomore Shavae Wright was also satisfied with her first showing of the season, especially after undergoing knee surgery following last season. She finished third in the women’s 200-meter dash with a time of 25.44.

“Coming from the knee surgery, I was very excited,” said Wright.

All in all, Lawson said he was satisfied with his athletes’ showing. He said there were “only a couple disappointments.”

Lawson sees the first meet of the season as simply a way to gauge where the athletes are at competitively.

“We’ll be at full strength at the third or fourth meet,” said Lawson. “(The season) is a progressive build-up to prepare for the (Mid-American Conference) Championships.”

The athletes and coaching staff are now focused on getting prepared for Friday’s Akron Dual.

Contact sports correspondent Richie Scheuermann at [email protected].