Men take second, women seventh at MAC

Kali Price

The Kent State men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams were unable to dominate the Mid-American Conference Championships this weekend at Bowling Green. The men finished in the No. 2 spot of six teams, whereas the women finished at No. 7 of 12 teams.

Kent State coach Bill Lawson said in a press release that he was pleased with the men’s performance

“We’re happy to be the runners-up,” Lawson said. “I’m very proud of the entire group and how they battled all season and especially today.”

The men scored 134 points, second to Eastern Michigan, which totaled 171. Following Kent State were Central Michigan with 124.50 points, Akron with 116.50, Buffalo with 63 and Ohio with 46.

Leading the Flashes in the heptahalon were junior Chris Caine, sophomore Nick Ivancic and junior Chad Clemons. Caine took the only title for the Flashes with a total of 5097 points, posting a NCAA provisional qualifying score. Caine was followed by Ivancic and Clemons, who finished No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Both put up personal bests of 4834 and 4744, respectively.

Senior Brent Shelby, who has continually led the Flashes in the field throughout the season, placed second in the shot put. His throw of 59-8.25 was also an NCAA provisional qualifying score.

The Flashes had eight runners with top 10 finishes on the track, led by junior Marc Johnson, freshman Greg Keys and senior Seth Hutchinson.

Johnson placed second in the 60-meter dash with a personal best and NCAA provional qualifying score of 6.71.

Keys, along with Ivancic and Clemons placed No. 2, No. 5 and No. 7 in the 60-meter hurdles, respectively.

Hutchinson led the distance runners, putting up a new personal best of 8:20.94 in the 3,000-meter run.

“Seth really came through for the men, as did all of the distance runners,” Lawson said. “I give a lot of credit to coach Mark Croghan for doing such an outstanding job with them.”

Hutchinson scored the most points for the Flashes in a single event with 14 points.

But unlike the men’s team, the women weren’t so fortunate.

The women finished No. 7 with 46.50 points, behind Akron with 118.50, Ball state with 105, Western Michigan with 75.75, Eastern Michigan with 69.50, Central Michigan with 61 and Toledo with 51.75. Behind the Flashes were Miami with a narrow 46 points, Buffalo with 41.50, host Bowling Green with 30.75, Northern Illinois with 13.75 and Ohio with 3.

Sophomore LeVania Henderson won her first individual MAC title in the shot put and led the team in the field events. Henderson’s 48-6.75 and senior Kelly Braden’s win in the 20-lb. weight throw were the only individual titles for the women.

“Kelly (Braden) and (LeVania Henderson) both did a fantastic job this year and they have continued to work hard up to this point. They earned these titles.” Lawson said. “Throwing coach Nathan Fanger is a great part of their success and has done a great job all year long.”

The only one of the Flashes to lead on the track was junior Stephanie Hunt in the 400-meter dash. Hunt’s time of 55.49 put her in the No. 3 spot.

“There are too many holes right now and we are not represented in some events,” Lawson said. “The only way to solve the problem is with hard work and recruiting. We will do our best at the Last Chance Meet and the NCAA tournament, but after that we will really be looking forward to the outdoor season.”

Both the men’s and women’s team will next compete at the Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday and Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Contact sports editor Kali Price at [email protected].