Lizarribar leads women’s cross country team to victory

Brad Tansey

Kent State senior runner Alex Lizarribar felt disappointed after leading the women’s cross country team to a first-place finish at the Buffalo Stampede.

Lizarribar finished second overall in the race, with a time of 18 minutes, 47 seconds.

“The way I’ve been working out lately, I should have run a faster race, but I just wasn’t feeling it,” said Lizarribar, who added that she felt physically drained.

The Flashes finished with a team total of 29 points, while Akron finished second with 32 points.

Five of Kent State’s runners scored in the top 10 of the race.

The men’s team finished in second place with a score of 50 points. Akron won the race with a perfect team score of 15 points.

Kent State coach Mark Croghan said he was happy with the way Lizarribar performed in her first race of the season.

“At the beginning of the race, the girl from Akron (Kim Lorentz) got after it,” he said. “I think when Alex found herself in a hole early, she got a little bit frustrated and probably didn’t run as fast as she would have liked, but it was a good start for her.”

Kent State senior runner Kassandra Meholick finished second on the team and fourth overall with a time of 19:12.

Croghan said he was disappointed with the way the men’s team performed.

“It was a really frustrating day from the men’s side,” he said. “We did not execute race plans well and we didn’t do a good job of giving ourselves a chance in competing in the latter parts of the race.”

Junior co-captain Michael Heller finished a team-high sixth place for the Flashes with a time of 25:59.

Sophomore Kiplangat Tisia recorded an eighth place finish with a time of 26:15, which was second-best for the Flashes.

The Buffalo Stampede was the first of the season for Heller and Tisia. Senior co-captain Scott Hilditch was inactive for the race.

Croghan said the men’s team needs to have more confidence in themselves.

“They need to have the ability to step up and compete against teams right from the get go to give yourselves a chance,” he said. “I think across the board (Saturday), we didn’t do that.”

The Flashes next race is scheduled for Oct. 1 in Lehigh, Pa., when they compete in the Paul Short Invitational.

Contact Brad Tansey at [email protected].

Kent State results at the Buffalo Stampede

Kent State women’s top 5 results (5k):

1. Alex Lizarribar (2nd): 18:47

2. Kassandra Meholick (4th): 19:12

3. Allison Krupko (6th): 19:16

4. Jessica Lhotsky (8th): 19:22

5. Audrey Maheu (9th): 19:25

Kent State men’s top 5 results (8k):

1. Michael Heller (6th): 25:59

2. Kiplangat Tisia (8th): 26:15

3. Steve Fischer (9th): 26:19

4. Daniel Bullard (12th): 26:25

5. Andrew Goodwin (15th): 26:42