Underclassmen give strong showing in home opener

Thomas Gallick

The men’s and women’s cross country teams both had finishers in the top five at the Kent State Short Course Relays meet at the Kent State Golf Course Friday.

Kent State freshman Kassandra Meholick finished second with a time of 10.44.0, behind Malone’s Katie Bagley, who posted a winning time of 10:29.4. Sophomore Aiman Scullion placed fourth with a time of 15:22.5 in a men’s race dominated by Ohio State runners who placed first, second and third.

Scullion said this opening meet, the lone home race of the season, will help prepare the team for the upcoming season.

“It gives us some perspective into where we are right now in our training and how much work we have to do this season,” he said.

Ohio State’s Jeff See won the men’s race with a time of 15:14.5. None of the teams received points from this meet, because the meet was non-scoring, meaning only individual stats were recorded.

Two other runners from the women’s team finished in the top-ten of the three-kilometer race. Sophomore Kelly Gephart finished fifth with a time of 11:02.7 and senior Brittany Durkin recorded a time of 11:07.6 for a ninth-place finish.

The women ran a three-kilometer course against opponents from Ashland University and Malone College. Malone looked strong with three of the top five times in a field of 32 runners.

Kent State freshman Allison Krupko delivered a strong performance with an 11th place finish. She said the race gave the team a chance to warm up for the rest of the season.

“It was a good practice run for being nervous,” Krupko said. “Each race is different and each race is fun.”

Kent State junior Joe Parker placed tenth with a time of 15:45.2 in the men’s five-kilometer race, the only men’s runner other than Scullion to finish in the top ten. The men’s team competed against the same opponents as the women, with the addition of the Ohio State team that completed the field of 51.

Scullion said the Short Course Relays would give the men’s team new insight into what they wanted to accomplish for the rest of the season.

“We haven’t really sat down and talked about our goals yet,” Scullion said. “I think this race was set up to help us determine our goals for the season.”

Krupko said the women’s team has already decided what they want to achieve this year.

“Our biggest goal is to improve in the MAC and make the whole team better,” Krupko said. “The ultimate goal is to win the conference in a couple of years.”

No team points were awarded for the short course open, meaning both teams will have a clean slate when they participate in the Toledo Invitational Sept. 15.

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