Rough day in Indy for runners

Thomas Gallick

The men’s and women’s teams both failed to finish in the top ten at the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday.

The women placed 15th in a field of 27, while the men fared even worse in South Bend, Ind., placing 21st in a field of 23.

Coach Mark Croghan said the men’s poor day started with a lack of execution and the injury to sophomore Aiman Scullion, the team’s top finisher in the last two events.

“We had an extremely tough day on the men’s side,” Croghan said. “Aiman was running the race of his life, but he got clipped early on in the race, eventually his calf balled up and he had to drop out.”

Croghan said he thought Scullion was in position to finish in the top 30 if he could have stayed in the race.

Without Scullion, freshman Scott Hilditch had the best finish for the Flashes in 101st place, with a time of 25:37.

Croghan said he thought the men’s team was certainly capable of a better effort.

“I was disappointed that Aiman didn’t get to finish his race, but certainly not disappointed in him,” Croghan said. “With the rest of the guys, there was just no execution, and it just wasn’t a good day.”

On the women’s side, freshman Kassandra Meholick once again led the team by coming in 23rd place. Meholick set a personal record with her time of 18:28, as did sophomore Kelly Gephart, who placed 37th with at 18:40.

Gephart said the women’s team needs to try to stay in a pack during practice runs if they want to improve.

“We need to race better as a team in practice,” Gephart said. “We want to try to stay together when we run in practice and help each other out if we’re going to do better next time.”

Croghan said individuals did well on the women’s side, but he felt the team could have had a better day.

“Ball State University’s women’s team finished fifth,” Croghan said. “They had the race we could’ve had and wanted to have.”

Home team Notre Dame won the men’s race and Grand Valley State won the women’s race.

Other than Meholick and Gephart, only one other Kent State runner placed in the top 100. Freshman Allison Krupko secured a 97th place finish, continuing her successful first season.

Croghan said the team will now focus on the All-Ohio Championships in Delaware, Ohio on Friday. Croghan said both teams will need to run completely different races if they want to compete well.

“In the All-Ohio Championship you get to compete against all of the best division one and two teams in Ohio,” Croghan said. “We’re definitely going to take a different approach for that race.”

Contact cross country reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].