Track team sends five to NCAA meet

Joshua Echt

In the annual NCAA basketball tournament, many teams are left out by the slimmest of margins.

The same goes for the Kent State women’s distance medley relay team.

“They are ranked 12th in the nation,” Kent State coach Wendel McRaven said. “They won’t know until Monday whether or not they qualify for the NCAA meet.

“It’s like being an NCAA basketball team because you don’t know if you’ll get in or not,” he said.

The relay team ran an 11:24.65 at the meet, second fastest in Kent State history.

At Friday and Saturday’s Last Chance Meet in South Bend, Ind., the Kent State track team qualified five individual athletes for the NCAA meet.

Depending on results from other meets across the United States yesterday, the women’s distance medley relay team may or may not qualify provisionally to the NCAA meet next week. The final decision will come tonight. The top 10 teams qualify automatically, but sometimes the NCAA will make room for more, leaving the Flashes in limbo.

Five athletes qualified Friday and Saturday for the NCAA meet: junior Mike Inge, senior Adrian Ghioroaie, junior Pawel Dutkiewicz, senior Colleen Ramharak and senior Breann Smith.

McRaven said the five athletes that qualified to the meet are the most he has had since his arrival in 2000. Last year two athletes qualified.

“We’re qualifying five athletes for sure,” he said. “However, we’re keeping our fingers crossed with regards to the women’s relay team.”

Dutkiewicz placed second in the long jump with a school record leap of 25-1.50, which ranks him 10th in the nation, breaking Steve Hardin’s 1976 record of 25-0.75.

Ghioroaie qualified in the triple jump while Inge and the men’s distance medley relay team ran a 9:38.41, a school record, and finished 14th. Inge, sophomores Matt Bailey and Ray Armstrong and senior Ofer Barniv participated in the distance medley relay.

Senior Breann Smith placed second in the shot put with a throw of 52-9.50, which provisionally qualifies her for the NCAA meet. Smith’s throw is second-farthest at Kent State and 11th in the nation, making her another one on the bubble.

Senior Colleen Ramharak won the triple jump with a school record jump of 43-10.75, breaking her previous record of 42-11.75. Her jump is the sixth in the nation and automatically qualifies her to the NCAA meet.

Senior Jeanna Fascione finished fourth in the 800 meters with a 2:08.27, which is fourth at Kent State and 22nd nationally.

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