Track and field to begin its outdoor season today

Kali Price

After a disappointing indoor season, the men’s and women’s track and field teams are beginning the 2006 outdoor season today at the Jim Click, Raleigh Relays and the Fred Hardy Invitational.

The teams are breaking up into groups of multi-event athletes, runners and throwers and traveling to Tucson, Ariz., Raleigh, N.C. or Richmond, Va.

“We’re looking forward to the tournaments this weekend,” Kent State coach Bill Lawson said in a press release. “We know that we’ll be seeing very high levels of competition at each meet, and we’re eager to see how we’ll do at some of the most prestigious meets in the country.”

The decathletes participate in the Jim Click Combined Events in Tucson, Ariz. They competed yesterday and will continue today. The runners and sprinters compete in the Adidas Raleigh Relays today and tomorrow in Raleigh, N.C., whereas the throwers will be at the Fred Hardy Invitational in Richmond, Va.

The men closed the indoor season by placing second at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships with 134 points. Junior Chris Caine was the only member of the men’s team to win a title after finishing first in the heptathlon with 5,097 points.

The women’s team is coming off a seventh-place finish at the MAC Championships. The team was led by throwers, such as sophomore LeVania Henderson and senior Kelly Braden. Henderson brought home her first individual MAC title in shot put for her toss of 48-6.75. Braden’s throw of 61-5 in the 20-pound weight throw earned her an NCAA provisional qualifying score and her first individual MAC crown as well.

For the outdoor season, the men are led by senior Phil Rickaby. Rickaby won the javelin throw at the MAC Outdoor Championships in 2005.

The Flashes also had nine members named to the 2006 Academic All-MAC Team. Seniors Seth Hutchinson, Bouke Onstenk, juniors Matt Kwiatkowski, Andy Nicholas, Ben Wietmarschen and sophomore Jaroslaw Zakrzewski were named to the men’s team. Senior Erryn Boxall, junior Stephanie Hunt and sophomore LeVania Henderson represented the Flashes for the women’s team.

After this weekend, the team will compete at the Jim Thorpe Invitational April 1 at Penn State.

Contact sports editor Kali Price at [email protected].