Kent State to host short course classic

Nate Stuart

Kent State’s cross country team will host the Short Course Classic at the Kent State Golf Course at 4:30 p.m. Friday — the team’s only home event of the season.

The men and the top women runners will not be running Friday to rest up for the Mid-American Conference Championship, which will take place Oct. 28 in Buffalo, New York.

Junior Suzanne Spettel, freshman Kelly Gephart and sophomore Melissa DiPanfilo from the top nine will be running for Kent State Friday. The other runners will be junior Erin Satzger and freshman Erin Dean.

Schools competing with Kent State in the tournament are Akron, West Virginia and Cleveland State.

The men will run a 5K race while the women will run a 3K race, which is shorter than usual. Normally the men run 8K races, and the women run 5K races.

“No one needs to hurt themselves a week from the MAC Championship,” senior runner Stephanie Blackstone said.

Blackstone said the teams will include only the girls who want to race.

Kent State coach Mark Croghan said he is looking for improvement from the women to continue on Friday, and it will be a good chance for the younger runners to get experience.

He said it is one last opportunity for the team to improve and to train for the MAC Championship.

Croghan said he wants the team to finish the season strong.

“It is always nice to finish on a positive note and look forward to track season,” he said.

The men’s team is coming off what he called its best run of the season at Indiana State (where the NCAA Championship will be held Nov. 20). He said the runners met their goal of finishing in a “pack” by closing the gap between them and senior Seth Hutchinson.

The women’s team took a step forward at the Falcon Invitational, he said, and are shaping up nicely for the MAC Championship.

Contact cross country reporter Nate Stuart at [email protected].