Falcons close season strong with top 10 finish

The bitter cold and muddy conditions made Bowling Green a dreary sight on Saturday morning – not the ideal circumstances that the women’s cross country team had in mind for the Great Lakes Regional meet.

But like they’ve done so many times before this season, the team pulled together through the harsh conditions and dashed their way to a 10th place finish in the meet, their best finish in the Great Lakes Regional under coach Cami Wells.

“Our goal was to finish in the top 10 when we got here, and that’s been my goal as a coach for seven years,” Wells said. “I’m very pleased to get up there, and I thought they ran a very strong team race. Our runners have really come together this last month, and I’m very proud of them.”

In her final meet, it was Kim Settle who finished first for the Falcons, setting a new personal best with a time of 22:23. Settle finished 41st overall, which was 89 spots better than her finish from last season’s regional.

Settle finished in the top five in five of the Falcon’s seven meets this season and earned a spot on the Mid-American Conference first team.

“I did not place as high as I would have liked, but I did run 22 seconds faster then my 6k personal best. So, I am very happy about that,” Settle said. “I had a lot of motivation to get out there and try to stay up with some of the top runners in the region. I was a little disappointed with my finish, but I gave it my all. Overall, I am happy with my entire season.”

Next to cross the finish line for BG was junior Jamie Roflow, who finished 44th overall and was the seventh Mid-American Conference runner to finish in the race. Roflow finished with a time of 22:28, which was 20 seconds slower than her finish in last season’s regional where she finished 28th.

Along with Settle, Roflow was named to the MAC first team this season.

“I would have liked to race better and finish higher,” Roflow said. “We were very happy to finish in 10th since that was our goal going into the race.”

The next Falcon to cross the finish line was freshman Carly Bates, who set a new personal best in the 6K with a time of 22:56. Bates finished 72nd overall in the meet, the highest placing by a BG freshman since 2000.

Kara Butler was the next BG runner to cross the finish line, in 88th place, also setting a personal best with an overall time of 23:10.

Last season, the Falcons had a dismal performance in the Great Lakes Regional when they placed 22nd and coach Wells believes the team had been eager to run in the meet all season.

“They were real anxious and ready to go, but they did a great job,” Wells said. “We had some seniors and it was the last home meet, and having the regional here which probably won’t happen for any of the girls again, so they’ve been excited for quite some time.”

The team finished in the top four in five of their seven meets this season, including a first place finish in a dual against Toledo in their first race of the season and a second place finish in the MAC Championships.

Wells believes the team showed much improvement over the course of the season and is on track for a successful 2007 season.

“We lose Kim Settle in our top five, but other than that we have everybody back,” Wells said. “We certainly want to contend for a conference championship next year, and I think we’re in a position to do that.”