Lightning causes delays in cross country Tommy Evans Invitational

The Tommy Evans Invitational women’s race in Akron, Ohio, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017.

Ian Kreider

The day was dreary,wet and toe-numbing for the cross country Tommy Evans Invitational at the University of Akron Thursday, Sept. 8.

Spectators and athletes alike bundled up in their respective vehicles waiting out the thunderstorm. Slowly but surely, everyone filed back onto the course only to be met with yet another delay due to lightning.

This happened twice more, but the meet was underway for men’s cross country by 7 p.m.

The men were scheduled to run four miles, but instead the race was shortened to a 5K (3.1 miles). At the starting line were six lanes, but only four teams competed on the men’s side — Akron, Malone and Youngstown State. 

At the gun, the Flashes were off to a conservative start, with only one member in the top ten. However, the rest of the team would answer the call, and by the second mile, the first five Flashes were within 10 seconds of each other.

Redshirt sophomore Sam Goodman was first across the line for the Flashes, coming in sixth (15:21.2). Senior Nick Schank finished in 13th place (15:39.3), while junior Brandon Avers (15:43.6), sophomore Josh Gogan (15:57.0) and freshman Sam Michael (16:06.2) each finished in the top 25.

Kent State beat Youngstown State 19-45, but lost to both Akron and Malone. 

The women’s race was underway shortly after. Freshman Maddie Dunlap made an impression early on going out with the lead pack. She came through the two mile in first place, and she was able to hold onto the lead until about a half-mile left in the race.

Dunlap finished third (18:09.8) in her first collegiate race. Sophomore Jaimie Adams finished ninth (18:33.4), and was closely followed by sophomore Olivia Davis, who finished 12th (18:41.0).

Freshman Nicole Fleming finished behind Davis (18:41.4). Junior Sarah Pack rounded out the top 25 (19:14.4).

The Flashes defeated Cleveland State (26-31), Youngstown State (18-41) and Robert Morris (15-50). They lost in nail-biting fashion to Akron (25-32) and Malone (26-30).

The Flashes will continue their season Sept. 23 for the RedHawk Rumble in Oxford, Ohio.

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