Dunlap, Bookman impress as the Flashes compete in the All-Ohio meet

Ian Kreider

The first two meets of the year for the Kent State cross country team have been defined by the performance of the underclassmen.

That did not change Friday.

Freshman Maddie Dunlap came into Friday’s race looking to improve upon her 6k PR of 22:24, and that is exactly what she did. She took 13th overall and was the second freshman to cross the line. She dropped her time down to 22:12.

The rest of the Flashes followed suit, as the second spot on the team was filled by junior Harrison Davis. Davis improved upon her 24:02 performance at the Redhawk Rumble. She ran her best time at 22:57, which cut the gap from the first to second spot on the team (1:29 to 45 seconds) from the previous race.

“Last week was hot, All-Ohio is a fun meet with a large environment and many of the runners know each other from high school so there was some extra motivation,” coach Tyler Griffin said. 

The underclassmen showed up again; they filled three out of the top five spots on the team. The team finished 8th out of 10 teams.

The men’s team was not much different.

Sophomore Clark Bookman cut 34 seconds off his time from last race (25:55 to 25:21). He took 9th place and was the only athlete in the top 10 who was not from Akron, Dayton or Ohio.

I’m looking for improvement from week to week,” Griffin said. “Clark has been doing well and has taken on a leadership role since qualifying for Junior Nationals. Maddie is a workhorse who always brings a great attitude.”

Freshman Grzegorz Kunc was the next to cross the finish line for the Golden Flashes with a time of 25:42 in 18th place, and he was followed closely by sophomore Sam Goodman who finished 19th with a time of 25:44.

The majority of the team ran much faster than last week. Junior Brandon Avers was no different. He showed the most improvement on the team from last week, dropping 1:27.

Sophomore Josh Gogan rounded out the top five on the team, showing ample improvement (55 seconds) with a time of 26:22 in an effort that got him 32nd. 

The Flashes will continue their season on Oct. 13 at the Penn State Open. 

 Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].