Underclassmen pace team at Lock Haven

Thomas Gallick

Kent State Sophomore Aiman Scullion won the first individual title of his career, helping the Kent State men’s cross country team to a first-place finish at the Lock Haven Invitational.

Led by another strong effort from freshman Kassandra Meholick, who finished seventh, the women’s team finished second at the invitational, held at the West Branch Cross Country Course in Lock Haven, Pa.

Coach Mark Croghan said both teams did extremely well, even if the field wasn’t the strongest it will face all year.

“It was primarily a Division II field, but West Virginia has an extremely good women’s team and Pittsburgh has a tough men’s team,” Croghan said. “This weekend was definitely a step in the right direction for our team.”

Scullion finished the men’s race with a winning time of 32:04.19, more than 20 seconds ahead of the second place finisher, Tommy Pearson of West Chester University. He said the team needs to keep practicing well.

“I think we need to keep doing all of the little things right,” Scullion said. “If we keep working out and practicing the right way it will help us succeed in the tournaments.”

Croghan said Scullion ran a very strong individual race to capture the first spot overall.

“Aiman had a very good performance this weekend,” Croghan said. “He simply broke away from the field to win it.”

Junior Dan Klatt, who finished ninth, said his teammates gained inspiration from running with each other to win the event.

“You could definitely tell everyone was getting stronger as the race went on, and we drew that strength from each other,” Klatt said. “I can really see us coming together as a team.”

Meholick said the race was a good test for the team, and especially for her as a freshman.

“It was my first big race and my goal was just to go out and finish in the top ten,” Meholick said. “I think it was a really great race for us because we did well against a tough field including, a really tough team from West Virginia.”

The women’s event was dominated by West Virginia, who had three runners finish in the top five. Clara Grandt of West Virginia won the women’s tournament with a time of 20:34.93, while Meholick, the lone top-10 finisher for the Flashes, had a time of 21:42.98.

In the men’s field, the Flashes had three finishers in the top five. Freshman Scott Hilditch finished third and junior Joe Parker placed fifth.

The cross country team will compete next at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on Sept. 28.

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