Track and Field faces some of nation’s best during invitational at South Bend

Steven Voicik

The Meyo Invitational attracts some of the top track and field athletes in the country because it gives them a chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. On Friday, schools from all over the nation, including Kent State, traveled to Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. to compete in this two-day event.

Kent State senior Phil Rickaby was a top performer for the Flashes Friday night. Rickaby ousted a field of nearly 30 competitors to finish in first place in the long jump with a leap of 7.62 meters. In doing so, he set a career-best mark in the long jump and has a chance to participate in next month’s NCAA championships.

“We sent a contingent of athletes to this meet to finish well and get national qualifying marks,” head coach Bill Lawson said in a press release. “Phil started us off well with the victory in the long jump with a personal best and a high provisional mark. He did a great job today.”

While Rickaby finished first in the long jump, teammate I. Perfection Harris finished 11th with a leap of 6.97 meters.

The team also had two competitors place in the top 20 in the pole vault. Freshman Jeremy Brading finished in 14th place as he cleared 4.7 meters. In addition, Erik Lindahl finished in 19th place as he cleared 4.55 meters.

While many Kent State athletes competed in South Bend over the weekend, several other Flashes competed at the Akron Open track meet.

Senior Chris Caine claimed first place in the men’s heptathalon Saturday. The heptathalon is a combination of seven events, including the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run.

Heading into the second day of the meet, and after four events, Caine was in sixth place with a total of 2,771 points. However, with a time of 8.59 in the 60-meter hurdles, marks of 13 and 11-1/4 in the pole vault and a time of 2:42.73 in the 1,000-meter relay, Caine climbed from sixth place to first, grabbing the title.

“Chris started out slowly on the first day, but he came out strong on the second day to win the event. He’s a warrior. He battled his way to victory, and he put himself into a good position heading into the conference championships,” Lawson said in a press release.

For the women, sophomore Shatira Snell finished in second place in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. With the finish, Snell set a personal best with a time of 8.73 seconds.

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