Cross country teams stride with confidence this season

Jena Adams

Men, women return classes of experience

With a third-place finish for the men’s team and an eighth-place finish for the women’s team in the Mid-American Conference Championship last season, this year, the cross country teams are preparing to compete with each and every opponent.

“We’re in a good situation,” Kent State coach Mark Croghan said. “We can compete with anyone. We want to run for the win.”

2009 cross country schedule

Sept. 5 Tommy Evans Invitational (Akron, Ohio)

Sept. 19 Iona Invitational (The Bronx, N.Y.)

Sept. 26 Ohio Invitational (Athens, Ohio)

Oct. 2 All- Ohio Championship (Delaware, Ohio)

Oct. 16 Penn State National Invitational (State College, Pa.)

Oct. 31 Mid-American Conference Championships (Athens, Ohio)

Nov. 14 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Meet (Bloomington, Ind.)

Nov. 24 NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.)


The strategy, explained Croghan, will be to use low-key meets at the beginning of the season to evaluate progress of training. This will determine how to better prepare for the MAC Championships in late October.

“Our training is very individualized,” senior Kelly Gephart said. “We build base mileage ranging from 45 miles to 70 miles a week over the summer.”

The returning upperclassmen on the women’s team, junior Kassie Meholick and Gephart, both who ran in the top three for the women’s side last season, will be top runners and team leaders along with senior Jessica Moore, Croghan said.

“I think we have a very strong team coming in,” Gephart said. “We only graduated one last year. Our top five are key runners and returners, and under Croghan, our new girls should be running better than their time on paper.”

Senior Aiman Scullion and juniors Scott Hilditch and John Minen can be expected on the men’s side to be among the top seven runners. Senior Tony Jordanek will also be seen among them, making great strides in his last season for eligibility along with junior Patrick Gorby coming back from injury.

On a primarily junior-senior team, Croghan explained it will be a tougher year for incoming freshmen to break into the top five or six runners.

“I just want to see consistent training.” Croghan said.

With their determination and strategy, both the men’s and women’s teams want to win the MAC. They plan to follow the spring success of the track and field team by competing and running better than conference teams Miami, Ohio and Akron.

“I really would like to graduate with a ring,” Gephart said.

Aside from the goal of winning the MAC title, the men’s and women’s teams said they are “very excited for another chance at team bonding” as they travel to New York for the Iona Invitational on Sept. 19, Meholick added.

Contact sports correspondent Jena Adams at [email protected].