Kent State Student-Athletes Are Going for Gold

Kent State student-athletes and alumni have achieved impressive results in their specialized sports such as competing in the Olympics, breaking records and continuously raising the bar for their competitors.

The 2020 Summer Olympics are the first games to be postponed in Olympic history, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The games will be held this summer in Tokyo, Japan, July 23 through Aug. 8. These games mark the second time Tokyo has hosted an Olympics.

Though the unexpected events of the pandemic delayed the games, the Summer Olympic Games will host the usual events including soccer, track and field and gymnastics. And that means Golden Flashes current and past are getting ready for the competition.

Student-Athletes Looking For Gold

TJ Lawson
TJ Lawson is a track and field graduate student with hopeful plans of qualifying for the Olympic team. In 2018 he was awarded First Team Indoor All-American and Second Team Outdoor All-American the previous year. Each year Lawson achieves impressive results. He attributes some of his success to Kent State.

“Kent State provided me with a high level, challenging environment which has pushed me to be the athlete I am today,” he said.

Danniel Thomas-Dodd
A NCAA woman’s shot put champion and graduate student at Kent State, Danniel Thomas-Dodd already competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, representing Jamaica, and is the eighth Golden Flash to compete in the Olympics. More recently, she earned the silver medal at the 2019 IAAF World Championships.

In 2017, Thomas-Dodd received the Mid-American Conference’s nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, a high honor for distinguished female college athletes.

Alumni With Their Eyes on the Prize

Ines Delpech
Originally from Argentina, Ines Delpech is an exceptional field hockey player who graduated from Kent State in 2018 with a double major in sociology and applied conflict management. In 2016 she earned All-Tournament Team honors after she assisted her team with winning the MAC Field Hockey Championship title for the first time in 16 years. In 2017 Delpech was awarded with the MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete honor for her academic and athletic excellence.

Jenna Hellstrom
Jenna Hellstrom is Kent State soccer's all-time leader in several categories, including goals (37), assists (33), points (107), game-winning goals (17). The Canadian athlete graduated from Kent State in 2017 with a degree in criminal justice. Hellstrom, who plays professionally in Sweden, was a member of Canada’s roster at the 2019 World Cup.

Reggie Jagers III
Reggie Jagers III is an exceptional Track and Field athlete who graduated from Kent State University in 2017. He already represents Team USA for Track and Field and has participated in various competitions around the globe including competitions in Taiwan and London. In 2017 Jagers won a gold medal for discus at the World University Games. He won first place again in 2018 at the Kingston Grand Prix.

Samory Fraga
Star track and field athlete and international relations alumnus, Samory Fraga, plans to join the Brazilian Olympic team this summer. To qualify for the games, track and field athletes must reach a certain standard, and Fraga has achieved the A standard, the most difficult to earn. As a long jumper, he has held world records and competed in multiple competitions with impressive results. At Kent State, Fraga holds the record for the indoor and outdoor long jump.

Kent State Athletics has produced multiple professional golfers excelling in their fields.

Corey Conners, a professional golfer on the PGA Tour, graduated from Kent State in 2014 with a degree in actuarial mathematics. Besides his accomplishments in academics, Conners has competed in multiple golf tournaments and made headlines when he won first place at the Texas Open in 2019. He has represented Canada on the PGA Tour for five years.

Mackenzie Hughes, a 2012 business management graduate, represents Canada on the PGA Tour and has competed since 2013. In 2016 he earned first place in the Price Cutter Charity Competition. He earned first place again in 2017 at the RSM Classic.

Taylor Pendrith graduated from Kent State in 2014 with a degree in sports administration. Another Canadian representative on the PGA Tour, Pendrith reached a best world ranking of 118 after finishing second on the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour seasons point list. He finished second or third at an event five times during this past season. A notable achievement is when Pendrith won the Mackenzie Tour twice.

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POSTED: Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 9:31am
UPDATED: Monday, May 3, 2021 - 4:06pm
Olivia Futo