Snowy February helps throwers at Miami Invite

Joshua Echt

Throwers Jaroslaw Zakrzewski and Andy Nicholas have spent most of the semester shoveling snow off their throwing ring in order to practice.

The work paid off at the Miami Invitational, which was held in Oxford Saturday.

Nicholas said his success Saturday came from going outside during the brutal winter and shoveling snow off of the throwing ring with roommate Zakrzewski helping.

“Jaroslaw and I have shoveled snow off the ring since mid-February,” Nicholas said. “We would go out there every day and start throwing before anyone else around the area would.”

Freshman Zakrzewski won the hammer throw with an NCAA mark of 204-3, while Nicholas, a sophomore, qualified for the NCAA meet with a third-place throw.

Six NCAA qualifiers, four of them throwers on the men’s team, led the Kent State track team to a second-place finish for the men and third-place finish for the women at the Miami Invitational Saturday.

The Flashes finished second out of 10 teams with 162 points, behind victorious Cincinnati, which scored 201.50 points. In the women’s competition, Kent State finished with 112 points. Ball State won the meet with 144 points.

Kent State coach Wendel McRaven said he would take the Flashes’ finish given their current health status.

“I’m fairly pleased with how we did,” McRaven said. “We’ve yet to compete at full strength. The athletes are at different places right now in their training.”

The two other throwers, junior Brent Shelby and sophomore John Harper, qualified to the NCAA meet with a respective first- and second-place showing in the discus. Junior Phil Rickaby won the javelin throw with a 191-1 toss and the triple jump with a jump of 48-11.50.

On the track, junior Mike Inge’s 3:48.15 clocking in the 1,500 meters qualified him for the NCAA meet while senior Otis Jordan won the 100 meters in 10.95 seconds. Sophomore Seth Hutchinson was victorious in the 5,000 meters. The 4×100-meter team of Jordan, Rickaby, senior Marc Mitchell and sophomore Marc Johnson, rounded out the men’s success.

In the women’s competition, senior Breann Smith qualified to the NCAA meet with a second-place throw of 50-2.75 in the shot put. Senior Julie Ward won her third straight javelin competition with a throw of 138-9, while senior Donielle Swany placed second in the hammer throw of 166-7. Sophomore Stephanie Hunt won the triple jump with a 37-10.75 jump, 10th best in school history. Hunt’s jump was her first after senior Colleen Ramharak suffered an injury recently.

“For her first jump, Stephanie stepped up and showed she can do it pretty well,” McRaven said.

The victorious 4×400-meter relay team of junior Dominika Stokowska, senior Erin Corrigan, senior Jessica Davis and Hunt won in 3:44.11, the fifth-fastest time at Kent State.

The teams return to action at the Sea Ray Relays, April 13-16, and the Mt. Sac Relays, April 15-17.

Contact track and field reporter Josh Echt at [email protected].