Difference in track depth

Josh Johnston

Women’s team wins big while men’s team struggles with lack of depth in track and field events

Kent State freshman Allison Krupko leads the pack in the one-mile run at the Doug Raymond Invitational on Saturday. Krupko finished first with a time of 5:16.60. BRIAN MARKS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

Kent State’s indoor track teams were put to an early test this season at the Fieldhouse. The men’s team faced Ohio State on Friday, while the women’s team competed in the Doug Raymond Open Invitational on Saturday.

Last season, the men’s team suffered a close three-point loss to Ohio State. This time around, the score was a little more lopsided with OSU beating the Flashes 91-56.

“The energy of the track meet was down,” coach Bill Lawson said. “We ended up not having a good team performance.”

The men did have a few standout individuals. Senior Nick Ivancic brought home a first place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.21. In the field, sophomore Evan Whiting won the shot put with a personal best throw of 57-5 3/4. Senior Shamel Smith rounded out the Flashes’ winners with a 6-11 effort in the high jump.

A couple key members of the team did not compete on Friday, Lawson said. “It kind of made it a flat meet for us, but overall it was a good opportunity to get the kids out on the track and competing.”

“It’s not like your normal team sports where you’re trying to win every game,” he said. “You’re trying to build strength, stamina, technique throughout the season in order to peak by your indoor conference meet.”

At the Doug Raymond Open Invitational, the women’s team demonstrated its depth in the sprints while winning six events. Three Flashes finished in the top five of the 60-meter dash, with senior Andrea Bryson taking first. Bryson also added a 200-meter dash win for the women.

In the 60-meter hurdles, junior Sha’tira Snell and freshman Ava Haynes finished first and second for the Flashes.

“Definitely, I think our strengths today were the sprints and the hurdles,” Lawson said.

Freshman Allison Krupko, normally a long distance runner, ran to a first place finish in the mile and recorded a personal best time. Krupko also anchored the women’s winning distance medley relay team. Joining her on the relay team were sophomores Kelly Gephart and Jessica Lhotsky and junior Ashley Rhodaback.

“The women’s DMR was outstanding today,” Lawson said.

Sophomore high jumper Brittany Thurman won her first collegiate event and the Flashes’ only field event with a 5-3 jump.

“Definitely we saw some improved event areas,” Lawson said.

The indoor track teams host Ohio and Youngstown State this Friday at the Fieldhouse.

Contact track and field reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].