KSU Cross Country has Strong Season Opener

Brittany Tatgenhorst

The Short Course Open held Friday was the first cross country meet run at the Kent State Airport course. It brought both confirmation and exceeded expectations for Kent State coach Mark Croghan. Croghan was pleased with his teams’ performances, particularly from the women’s team.

“On the women’s side, up front, I couldn’t have asked for a better race,” said Croghan. “I thought that we really packed things up nice.”

Kent State sophomore Kassandra Meholick led the women, taking first-place honors. She finished the 4,000 meter race in 14:59.23.

“For a while in the middle I felt like (the race) was going to get away from me,” Meholick said. “Then I realized how short the course was and I just went for it.”

Meholick finished strong, followed closely by freshman teammate Audrey Maheu, who took second with a time of 15:04.32. Maheu exceeded her own expectations with her first collegiate race.

“It was a lot more than I expected,” Maheu said. “I didn’t plan on being that far up there.”

Croghan was also satisfied with Maheu’s performance.

“Audrey ran a gutsy race,” Croghan said. “She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in that last 400 meters. She definitely adds some depth to the roster.”

Depth is what the 2008 women’s team presented, finishing with four runners in the top ten. Junior Kelly Gephert finished fourth with a time of 15:16.98. Sophomore Allison Krupko finished with a time of

15:32.48, taking seventh place.

“I think that’s what we’re going to have to do to be successful,” Croghan said of the women’s performance.

Although the results of the men’s race weren’t quite as promising, Croghan wasn’t surprised with the finish.

“Its right where I expected things to be at this point,” said Croghan. “It’s a lot of confirmation as far as where I thought kids

were coming off of the summer.”

Sophomore John Minen lead the KSU men’s team finishing the 6,000 meter race third overall with a time of 19:10.04. Senior Joe

Parker took seventh with a time of 19:22.03.

“I was pretty pleased,” Minen said of his race. “I definitely wanted to come out and win on our home course, but it was a good


Croghan would have liked to have seen the men display the same depth that the women’s team displayed.

“On the men’s side I’d like to see a few more guys up there with John and Joe,” Croghan said. “We need to have a little bit more of a tight group up front.”

Croghan said the meet was a great start to what he hopes will be a successful season.

“I thought we did a nice job of competing,” said Croghan. “Certainly we have a long way to go to get where we want to be, but at the same time it’s a good place to start from.”

The KSU cross country teams next travel to Bowling Green on Sept. 13 to compete in the Mel Brodt Invitational.