Kent State cross-country kicks off season at Tommy Evans Invitational

Rich Scheuermann

The Kent State men’s and women’s cross-country teams will begin their seasons Thursday at the Tommy Evans Invitational held at Firestone Metro Park in Akron, Ohio.

Both teams look to improve upon last year’s finishes.

The men finished fourth overall at the 2011 MAC Championships, while the women finished ninth.

Some standout runners returning for the men’s team include senior and First Team All-MAC award winner Michael Heller, and Second Team All-Mac winner Steve Fischer. Heller finished fourth overall at the MAC Championships with a time of 24:37.5. Junior Andrew Goodwin also finished the season well, placing 16th overall at the meet.

For the women, junior Melinda Sawnor led the Golden Flashes at last year’s Championships with a time of 22:39.5, and looks to carry that momentum into the 2012 season.

Head coach Mark Croghan heads into his eighth season with the Flashes. Croghan was named the 2009 MAC coach of the year.

The MAC preseason polls projected the Kent State men’s team to finish third overall and the women to finish in tenth.

Thursday’s races begin with the women’s 5k at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men’s 4-mile race at 6:15 p.m.

Contact Rich Scheuermann at [email protected].