Indoor track and field season ends in Notre Dame without a NCAA bid

Josh Johnston

The Kent State track and field team officially ended its indoor season this weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame.

The meet gave a last chance for athletes to qualify for the NCAA Championships next weekend. To qualify, athletes must be ranked in the top 16 in the country.

The Flashes weren’t able to qualify any of the five athletes they brought however. For coach Bill Lawson, this year marks only the second of his 25 years coaching he hasn’t had an athlete qualify.

“You can look at it and say ‘yeah, we’re a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get several people there,'” he said, “but the good news is people will be able to recharge their batteries and we’re going to open up outdoors in a few weeks.”

Sophomore Jessica Lhotsky gave Kent State its most impressive performance with a personal best run in the 800-meter run.

“If you have even one good performance at a last chance meet, then it’s all worthwhile,” Lawson said, “and (Lhotsky) had an outstanding run.”

Lhotsky benefited from running in the pack to shave off 3 seconds from her previous best of 2:12.18.

“I really wanted to hit 2:09 this year,” she said. “I did, so I was excited.”

Junior Tony Jordanek and sophomore Curtis Eaton Jr. ran their best races of the season in the mile and 400-meter dash. Both men missed qualifying, but Lawson said he wasn’t disappointed.

“The reality of it is,” he said, “a few weeks from now everybody’s going to forget about the indoor (season) and focus on the outdoor (season).”

The Flashes will take the next week to recover and transition to the outdoor season. The track and field team will kick off the outdoor season by splitting up.

The throwers will travel to Cincinnati over spring break while the 10K runners will compete in Raleigh, NC. The rest of the team will begin its season at the Duke Invitational April 4-5.

Contact sports correspondent Josh Johnston at [email protected].