Men dominate in commanding win

Garron Lucius of Grand Valley State, Greg Keys of Kent State, and Danny Jackson of Grand Valley State run in the 60-meter hurdles at the Central Collegiate Conference Championship at the Fieldhouse Saturday. Keys came in second to Jackson with a time of 8

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Kent State men’s track and field team placed first at the Central Collegiate Championships Saturday after taking nine of 18 events Friday and Saturday.

The Flashes finished ahead of Ohio, scoring 201 points to Ohio’s 116.5 points. Grand Valley State, Youngstown State and Detroit Mercy followed behind, scoring 98.5, 67 and 44 points, respectively.

The Flashes were led by junior thrower Andy Nicholas, who was named Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year after placing first in the 35-pound weight event with a mark of 65-9.75. Not only was the throw Nicholas’ personal best, it put him in the No. 4 spot in school history.

His throw was an NCAA provisional qualifying mark as well.

“My hat is off to Andy (Nicholas) and his coach, Nathan Fanger,” Kent State coach Bill Lawson said in a press release. “He did an outstanding job, and I congratulate them both. I’m very proud of the assistant coaches for having their athletes prepared and ready to go this weekend. I think that the staff and the athletes gave great competitive efforts.”

Also leading the Flashes were senior thrower Brent Shelby and freshman Shamel Smith. For the fourth time this season, Shelby placed first in the shot put with a throw of 58-10.

Smith placed first in the high jump, posting a personal best of 6-9.75.

Senior Chris Caine also made an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, finishing in the No. 1 spot in the heptathlon with 5,232 points.

Aside from the field events, junior Marc Johnson posted a No. 1 finish in the 60-meter dash and his fastest time of the season ith 6.79.

The Flashes will compete next in the Sykes-Sabcock Challenge Friday and Saturday at Penn State.

– Kali Price and Amanda Vasil