Cross country teams see mixed results during weekend meet

Brittany Tatgenhorst

Women and Men place in top-five

It was a bittersweet weekend for the Kent State men’s and women’s cross country teams, as they finished third and fourth at the All-Ohio Intercollegiate in Delaware, Ohio.

The men’s team started its top-five runners for the first time Friday. Not all five finished, as sophomore John Minen dropped out of the race with a knee injury.

“With (Minen) in his normal spot, we would have finished first,” senior Joe Parker said.

Junior stand-out Aiman Scullion competed with the team for the first time this season, leading the men with a ninth-place finish with a time of 26 minutes, 2.1 seconds. Sophomore Scott Hilditch left his redshirt status behind to compete with the Flashes. He finished 13th with a time of 26:11.2.

“It was like we doubled our varsity team getting those two back,” Parker said.

Parker finished 14th, with a time of 26:12.3. Senior Tony Jordanek placed 16th with a time of 26:22.1. Senior Andrew Carnes took 24th with a time of 26:45.7.

“It was the best I’ve ever done on that course as far as timing and place goes,” Parker said. “We’re running as one, not just a bunch of individuals.”

Scullion agrees that the third-place finish Friday was not indicative of the team’s talent.

“Not as high of a place as we expected,” Scullion said. “This race doesn’t show full strength.”

On the women’s side, sophomore Kassandra Meholick finished 11th with a time of 18:47.6. Junior Kelly Gephart finished 13th with a time of 18:59.7. Freshman Audrey Maheu finished 24th with a time of 19:27.9.

“I don’t think that anyone ran their best race,” Meholick said.

This meet followed a two-week break during which the team intensified its training to prepare for the 2008 Mid-American Conference Championship on Nov. 1.

“I think a lot of us were really tired because our training has been so hard,” Meholick said. “It was like starting a second season.”

Meholick said that although the team didn’t do as well as it would’ve liked, the women are still confident about placing high in the MAC.

“It was kind of a complicated meet to try and explain,” Meholick said.

The Flashes beat rival Akron but were defeated by MAC-competition Bowling Green and Ohio. The Flashes defeated Bowling Green once this season at the Mel Brodt Invitational.

“We didn’t do really well at this meet, but we’re OK with that,” Meholick said.

The men also look forward to the MAC with confidence as the team continues to get better.

“We have been training hard and have seen better and better improvement,” Scullion said.

Parker said the MAC will bring the team no surprises.

“We know what our competition has in store for us, and we know what we have,” Parker said. “Nobody’s hiding anything.”

Parker said the teams will be ready for whatever they face Nov. 1.

“We’re going into it optimistically, and we’ve been training for it,” Parker said. “If all goes well, we’ll meet our goals.”

Contact sports reporter Brittany Tatgenhorst at [email protected].