The men’s track and field Mid-American Conference Tournament looked almost identical to the 2019 championship.

This year, redshirt junior TJ Lawson came into the MAC Tournament as the top-ranked athlete in the long jump and the heptathlon.

In the 2020 tournament, Lawson finished in first place in the heptathlon with sophomore Jacob Mally finishing in second. 

The only difference in the championship from this year and last season were the scores of Lawson and Mally. This year, Lawson finished with a final score of 5,723, 296 points more than his 2019 score.

“Him and Jake both going one, two 18 team points there for the men … setting the championship meet record is a great performance for TJ,” coach Bill Lawson said. “And didn’t go all out, he just wanted to get through it and stay healthy to get ready for the National Championships in a couple of weeks. Well, that goal was accomplished.”

Mally came in second place with a final score of 5,227.

Despite the two Flashes’ successes, Kent State men’s track and field finished in third place with a score of 106. The University of Akron finished in first, with Eastern Michigan in second place.

In the heptathlon, Lawson finished in first in five of the seven events. His two non-first place finishes were in the 60m hurdles and the 1000-yard dash. In the 60m hurdle, Lawson had a finish of sixth place. In the 1000-yard dash he finished in third. Mally only had one first place finish: the 60m hurdle with a time of 8.32.

“We’re really looking forward to, obviously we’ll finish off the indoor season with TJ going out to New Mexico, trying to, you know, do as well as he can at the NCAA championships,” Bill Lawson said. 

Lawson also was consistent with the MAC predictions with a final distance of 7.42m in the long jump. 

Akron rounded out the top five for the heptathlon events. Senior Dylan Hochbein finished in third, junior Brandon Hochbein placed in fourth and senior Malik Hudson in fifth.

“Not only did they [the team] compete to the best of their ability this weekend, but they acted like division one athletes; they represent the university, they’re ambassadors of track and field for Kent state,” Bill Lawson said. 

Kent State will head to the NCAA Indoor Championships March 13-14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Amanda Levine is a sports editor. Contact her at alevine3@kent.edu.

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