Junior leads track team, shoots to set records

Tyler McIntosh


Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Not many athletes go down in the record books at Kent State.

But junior Andy Nicholas of the Kent State track and field team is now one of those people.

Nicholas achieved this honor by recording a throw of 20.06 meters in the 35-pound weight toss at the Central Collegiate Conference Championships in early Februrary. Nicholas’ throw was good enough to place him fourth in Kent State’s all-time 35-pound weight toss record book.

“Number one and number two on the list were national champions. It’s pretty good company to be in I guess,” Nicholas said.

Nicholas said that to beat Kent State’s all-time 35-pound weight toss record of 21.61 meters, which is held by Jacques Accambray, he would have to build his strength while perfecting his technique.

“It’s a hard record. There’s a reason it’s been standing for 33 years,” he said. “I think it’s the hardest record in the school.”

Aside from putting his name in Kent State’s record book, Nicholas’s throw also surpassed the NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 19. He was also just shy of the mark needed to be granted an automatic birth for the Division I indoor track and field championships held later this year.

The month of February has brought Nicholas many awards and accolades. He was named Male Athlete of the Year by the track team, Kent State Athlete of the week for the week of Jan. 29 through Feb. 5, and the Mid-American Conference’s Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for the same week.

Few people would have predicted all this success from someone whose long throw during his freshman year was only 15.24. However, don’t expect Nicholas to get caught up in the hype.

“Those are just titles. It doesn’t change anything. I’m doing this for myself,” he said.

Even with all of his recent success, Nicholas is still looking at what he needs to improve.

“Anything can get better. You can always improve,” he said.

Nicholas added that he would like to increase his power and improve on his technique.

“When you stop improving, the game is over,” he said.

Nicholas prides himself on the hammer throw – an outdoor event. He said his goal for the remaining indoor season is to qualify for the NCAA championships in the 35-pound weight toss. He also has one goal in mind for his senior season.

“I’d like to be an All-American next year,” he said.

Contact sports correspondent Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].