Track and field performs well at Drake Relays

Steven Voicik

Conditions were right last weekend as the Kent State track and field team competed at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa amidst ideal 80-degree weather. Regarded as “America’s Athletic Classic,” the Flashes competed against some of the nation’s top athletes and at one of the top venues in America.

Despite only one first-place finish, head coach Bill Lawson was happy with the results.

“I am very pleased with the men and women of Kent State track and field and their performance this weekend,” Lawson said.

For the Flashes, junior John Harper finished first in the discus with a convincing win. In the event Harper established a new season-best throw of 183 feet and five inches, ousting his nearest competitor by over four feet.

Senior Marc Johnson also enjoyed great success this weekend. Johnson finished third overall in the men’s 100-meter dash with a time of 10.40 seconds

Several freshmen also performed well for the Flashes. Jeremy Brading finished fourth overall in the pole vault. In his first season, Brading has had a huge impact on the team, Lawson said.

In the 4×100-meter relay, both the men’s and women’s teams posted season-best times. A pair of freshmen, Curtis Eaton Jr. and Arthur Thomas, led the men’s team. Senior Stephanie Hunt led the women’s team.

“Stephanie ran an outstanding third leg for the sprint medley team,” Lawson said. “Overall, both teams did an outstanding job.”

While the Flashes will graduate several key athletes at the end of the season, Lawson has confidence in his underclassmen.

“An event like this provides confidence not only to the athletes but to the coaches as well,” Lawson said.

Now with the season in full swing, Lawson said the team is stepping into top form.

“Right now we are just trying to keep everyone fresh and healthy as we look towards the Mid-American Conference Championships,” Lawson said.

Contact track and field reporter Steven Voicik at [email protected]