Flashes set to face OSU, YSU in meet

Steven Voicik

In what will undoubtedly be a solemn and emotional start to tonight’s Track and Field dual meet, the Kent State Athletic Department and Track and Field Program will honor Isaac Perkins, former student-athlete and employee of the athletic department, with a short ceremony honoring his memory.

The ceremony will precede a meet with Ohio State, one of the biggest dual meets of the season for the Flashes. Kent State was picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference this season in the preseason coaches’ poll, and is coming off a strong performance in the Doug Raymond Invitational Jan. 13 in which the men’s track team won six events and had eight top-three finishes.

Senior Marc Johnson highlighted the invitational as he broke a Field House record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.70 seconds. Johnson’s mark beat five-time All-American Bobby Cruse’s, who set the mark in 2001 with a time of 6.73 seconds.

Senior Seth Hutchinson, one of the Flashes’ top cross country runners, won the mile race with a time of 4:13.24, one second off of his personal best mark.

The surprise of the early season meet came when freshman Curtis Eaton won the 400-meter race in his first collegiate meet.

The coaching staff will look to guide the Flashes past a hungry and experienced Ohio State squad. The Flashes are coached by Bill Lawson and assisted by Ron Andrews and Marc Croghan.

Croghan, a 1991 graduate of Ohio State, was a four time All-American with the Buckeyes and competed in three different Olympic Games, in 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney).

Croghan was a coach and teammate with Ohio State’s first-year head coach Robert Gray, and the two were teammates in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where they finished first and second in the steeplechase.

Today’s meet will be the first dual meet this season for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes are coming into the meet after placing sixth in the Big Ten Indoor Championships a year ago.

The Perkins ceremony will take place along the finish line of the long-jump pit inside the Kent State Field House at approximately 7 p.m. Friday. Perkins, who was a former long jump and triple jump specialist, began his collegiate career in 1998. He was a captain for the track team and earned a conference championship ring in 2000.

After finishing his athletic career, Perkins remained at Kent State and received his Masters Degree in sports administration in 2004. Soon after Perkins began work as one of the school’s directors of eligibility.

Perkins was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and died fifteen months later in Nov. 2005. In his memory, Kent State is establishing the Isaac Newton Perkins Endowed Scholarship to recognize a Kent State male or female student athlete who has demonstrated both academic and athletic success.

The Flashes have a meet against rival Akron next Friday.

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