Hilditch wins as men’s and women’s CC teams finish second

Brad Tansey

After a dismal performance at the Lehigh-Brooks Paul Short race Oct. 2, the Kent State cross country team needed a boost of confidence.

The boost came in the form of a second-place finish by both the men’s and women’s teams at the Falcon Invite this weekend in Bowling Green.

Senior co-captain Scott Hilditch ran away from the competition, finishing first with a time of 24 minutes, 43.4 seconds in the 8k race. The win was his second victory of the season.

Hilditch said he was battling personal problems from the past week and did not run the type of race he knew he was capable of.

“I had a pretty bad race,” he said. “I didn’t feel good for the most part. I had a rough morning. I wasn’t going out there for time; I was just kind of going out there to race.”

Windsor won the race, finishing with a score of 47 total team points. The Flashes finished with 54 team points while third-place Miami finished with 55 points.

Four of Windsor’s runners finished in the top 10.

Kent State coach Mark Croghan said he was pleased with the performance of the men’s team this weekend.

“I was really happy with (the men’s finish),” Croghan said. “We had been struggling up until this point and we tried to take a very specific approach to how we raced. This weekend just to kind of give the guys an idea of what it is they are capable of doing and at the same time, just having a positive experience getting ready for (Mid-American Conference).”

On the women’s side, senior Jessica Lhotsky led the Flashes, finishing a team-high fourth place overall with a time of 22:05.2 in the 6k race.

Lhotsky said because this is her last season, she wanted “to leave it all out on the course.”

“Me, Kassie (Meholick) and Allison (Krupko) all went out together to get to two miles,” she said. “After two miles, we just raced. It ended up working out for me.”

Krupko, a senior co-captain, finished eighth overall with a time of 22:16. Meholick finished 22nd with a time of 22:43.3.

Malone won the race with a total team score of 57 points. Kent State finished with 66 points, while Ashland finished in third place with a score of 84 points.

Croghan said he was equally as pleased with the women as the men.

“We wanted to put ourselves in a position to win which we did and just fell a little bit short to a good Malone team,” he said. “I was really pleased with that top four, how they worked well together in a group.”

The Flashes top five runners combined for a 38-second gap, which is a time Croghan said he was happy with.

“With it being 38 seconds, that was definitely a big step forward for the group,” he said. “We even feel like we have the potential to shrink that down to under 30 seconds even.”

The Flashes withdrew from the Eastern Michigan Fall Classic Oct. 22 to prepare for the MAC Championship meet.

Contact Brad Tansey at [email protected].

Falcon Invite Results

Kent State men’s top 5 finishers

1. Scott Hilditch (1st): 24:43.4

2. Michael Heller (6th): 25:06

3. Kiplangat Tisia (11th): 25:19.4

4. Steve Fischer (17th): 25:25.4

5. Andrew Goodwin (19th): 25:29.4

Kent State women’s top 5 finishers

1. Jessica Lhotsky (4th): 22:05.02

2. Allison Krupko (8th): 22:16

3. Audrey Maheu (14th): 22:27

4. Melinda Sawnor (18th): 22:36.5

5. Kassandra Meholick (22nd): 22:43.3