One wins while other falls

Josh Johnston

Women’s track falls to MAC-leading Akron while men’s team defeats the rival Zips

Kent State continued its success against rival Akron by defeating its track team Friday at the Fieldhouse.

With athletes from other Kent State sports cheering them on, the Flashes posted victories in nine of the 14 events to win the duel meet, 79-72.

“It’s always a good day when you get a win over Akron,” coach Bill Lawson said.

The men benefited from senior thrower Jaroslaw Zakrzewski and sophomore distance runner Aiman Scullion return from injury. Competing for the first time this season, Zakrzewski threw 62 feet, 1/2 inches to claim first in the weight throw.

“I’m recovering from my injury,” Zakrzewski said. “I’m thinking positive, I’m an optimistic person.”

Scullion, who sat out last week due to an ankle injury, ran 8 minutes, 29.93 seconds to take the top spot in the 3,000-meter run.

“I’m pretty sure I’m one hundred percent,” Scullion said. “I haven’t been doing a lot of workouts, but I came back and still ran well.”

Continuing his undefeated streak in the high jump, senior Shamel Smith came the closest he’s been to NCAA qualifying this year. Smith said he thought the competition from Akron’s Ryan Jones pushed him closer.

“The past couple weekends really wasn’t too much high jump competition,” he said. “I was basically out there by myself.”

Smith tied Jones in height by jumping 6 feet 11-3/4 inches but won the event by clearing the bar on his second attempt. Jones took all three attempts to make the height.

“It’ll be very surprising to me if (Smith) doesn’t get that 7-2 or 7-3 bar to get himself to the national championship,” Lawson said.

The women’s indoor team struggled against defending Mid-American Conference champions Akron, falling 90-57.

Despite the considerable point difference, Lawson said he believes the women will be able to tighten the gap by the conference meet.

“The ladies had some very good performances,” he said. “They’re just not where we want them to be yet.”

Sophomore Jessica Lhotsky added to her already impressive indoor season with a victory in the 800-meter run. Outrunning a pack of Zips, she dashed to a new personal best time of 2:12.18.

“She has not been challenged yet,” Lawson said. “I’m really looking forward to a day when there’s two or three other girls from other schools pushing the pace.”

Also finishing in a top spot for the Flashes was junior Sha’tira Snell in the 60-meter hurdles. Although she has won her event three weeks in a row, Snell said she is just now back on pace.

“I had a good start, shaky middle two, but now I’m back,” Snell said.

The indoor track teams will compete in their first away meet of the season this weekend at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup in State College, Pa.

Contact sports correspondent Josh Johnston at [email protected].