Men’s, women’s teams edge out OU, YSU

Josh Johnston

Senior Nick Ivancic wins the men’s 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.30 seconds, during Friday’s double-dual track and field meet with Youngstown State and Ohio University. Dana Beveridge | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

Small numbers added up to big wins against Ohio and Youngstown State for Kent State’s track and field team Friday night at the Fieldhouse.

Consider senior Nick Ivancic, who won the men’s long jump by just three centimeters.

Or freshman Stephen Thompson, who outpaced Youngstown’s Clarence Howell by .07 to win the men’s 60-meter dash.

Or the entire women’s team, who edged Ohio by only one point to claim a double duel meet victory.

The women, in their first duel meets of the season, ran away with eight first-place finishes.

“It was an incredible weekend from a week ago,” coach Bill Lawson said.

Adding to her win in the women’s 60, senior Andrea Bryson also sprinted to a victory in the 200-meter dash.

“I’m doing really good for it to be so early in the season,” Bryson said. “I think I’m well on pace for the rest of the season.”

Junior Sha’tira Snell and freshman Ava Haynes repeated their one-two punch in the 60-meter hurdles for the second straight week. Sophomore Jessica Lhotsky led a pack of Flashes to the finish line in the 800-meter run.

Sophomore Kelly Gephart took control of the one-mile run, and didn’t let go.

“She’s one of those people that struggled last year with injuries, and she’s now turning it around,” Lawson said.

Although weak in the field events, the women had standout first and second place performances by freshman Susan Echard and junior Erin Ferut in the pole vault. Also, sophomore Effua Ampadu threw for the win in the weight throw.

On the men’s side of the competition, Ivancic and sophomore Curtis Eaton Jr. stole the show. Ivancic grabbed a 60-hurdle win in addition to long jump, and Eaton chalked up victories in both the 200 and 400-meter dashes.

“I felt pretty good,” Eaton said. “I thought I could have been a little better with my time.”

Ivancic and Eaton also teamed up with freshmen Matt Moffett and Destin Heasley for a Flashes’ win in the 1,600-meter relay.

Kent State’s men were at the top of every running event thanks in part to strong performances by freshmen runners. Heasley, who also won the 800-meter, and Thompson were joined by fellow freshman Scott Hilditch (3,000-meter run) on the winner’s list.

The Flashes dominated on the field as well, winning five of six events. Senior Shamel Smith won the men’s high jump from a short approach for the second consecutive week.

“I feel like I’m on a roll right now,” Smith said. “I want to work out some kinks on the short approach, and then we’ll take it back to the long approach.”

Lawson said the men competed well across the board.

“We haven’t hit the big numbers yet because we’re still training.”

Friday, the men’s and women’s teams face Akron at the Fieldhouse. Contact sports correspondent Josh Johnston at [email protected].