Ashland Men, Women Open With Northwood Invitational

Ashland Men, Women Open With Northwood Invitational


The 2019 season for Ashland University's men's and women's cross country teams will begin on Saturday (Sept. 7) at the Northwood Invitational in Midland, Mich.

"We're looking forward to getting a meet in before our first 8K," said Ashland head coach Jacob Sussman, "just something to loosen their legs up and knock the rust off, and hopefully prepare them for the season."

Saturday's 5K women's race will begin at 1:15 p.m., with the 6K men's race to follow at 2 p.m.

Ashland's men were picked to finish sixth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2019 – the same spot in which they finished in 2018. The Eagles, however, have depth that could suggest a higher placement this fall – depth that starts with seniors Kyle Shively and Steven Kapes, and redshirt junior Tyler Sievert.

"We've got those three back, and we also have two sophomores that redshirted last year – Cody Booth and Jake Hall – that are coming back this year, to even add more to the mix," Sussman said. "Everyone's coming off a great summer. It's going to be fun.

"The last two years, that's kind of been our problem, is we haven't had a frontrunner, someone to be in the front pack of a race. Now, we have three guys who can potentially be doing that. It's a nice feeling."

On the women's side, senior Johannah Stefanek is the leader of a team picked to finish eighth in the conference, but coming on quickly are a pair of sophomores – Abby Moser and Destini Oler.

"She (Abby) had huge PRs from being a senior (in high school), going into college," said Sussman. "She'll be up there with Johannah. Destini has changed her mindset into cross country mode. It's going to be fun there."

The Northwood meet will include many GLIAC teams, making it an early gauge for the 2019 GLIAC Championships, Oct. 26 at Purdue Northwest.

"There's definitely going to be good competition," Sussman said.