Problems exist for BG after poor home race

Closing the gaps between the top runners has been a problem for the BG women’s cross country team all season, and on Saturday it was no different as the team finished fourth in the Falcon Invitational, their worst finish at home in the past two seasons.

The Falcons finished well behind the winner of the meet and Mid-American Conference foe Akron, who won the meet in impressive fashion by 33 points over runner-up Ball State.

“If there is one thing we learned today it is that pretty much any team in the MAC can beat any other team in the MAC on a given day,” said coach Cami Wells. “We have to get out faster and close our gaps up between runners to have our best team race.”

Jamie Roflow, who was named the MAC Runner of the Week on Tuesday, finished fourth overall and was the first Falcon to cross the finish line with a time of 18:01, her second fastest time in a 5K race this season.

“We all would have liked to place higher as a team, and I personally would have liked to race better,” said Roflow. “We all need to be on the day of the MAC meet and race the best we can.”

Next to cross the finish line for the Falcons was Kim Settle, who finished sixth overall with a time of 18:12, a personal best by more than 12 seconds for the junior. Settle has finished in the top six in four of the Falcon’s five races this season, setting a new personal best in each one of those races.

“I’ve been running so well this season because I have the confidence to know I can be right up there with the front pack,” said Settle. “It’s very mental for me, and the past three years I have adjusted and learned a lot through Cami [Wells] and the team.”

Behind Settle were Carly Bates and Stephanie Hillman, who took 32nd and 33rd place with a time of 19:13. Finishing out the top five for the Falcons was Bridget Dalic, who finished with a time of 19:29.

The Falcons will get a week off to prepare for the MAC Championships in Buffalo on October 28 and look to improve on their tenth place finish in the meet last season.

“The team needs to do what they have been working on all season and close up the gaps between runners,” said Wells. “We cannot afford to have a minute gap between our top two runners and the rest of the team if we are going to contend for a top spot at the MAC meet. We have a week off from competing which will allow us to focus on mentally and physically.”

The MAC Championships will be held in Buffalo, N.Y. at the University at Buffalo’s campus with a 12 p.m. start time.