Cross country hosting Falcon Invite tomorrow

Brad Frank and Brad Frank

The BG men’s cross country team has a way to go to meet their preseason goals, but it’s getting better.

To get there, the Falcons need to get some consistency behind their top three runners.

Chris Moody, Jason Salyer, and Jesse Smuda have finished first, second, and third, respectively, on the team in every meet this season. The biggest thing the team can work on at this point is getting the gap closed behind the top three runners, according to coach Cami Wells.

‘They’ve been doing a very nice job in practice all year,’ she said. ‘The problem has been carrying it forward into the meets.’

BG has an opportunity to work on closing that gap at the 8K Falcon Invite tomorrow, BG’s second and final home meet of the season. The field consists of 19 teams.

BG will run against fellow Mid-American Conference teams Buffalo and Eastern Michigan, as well as a very good Malone squad that finished third among a tough field at the Iona Meet of Champions where BG finished 18th.

The meet is BG’s last before the MAC Championships at the end of the month. Last season the Falcons finished last with a very young team. Wells believes if everyone runs as well as they’re capable of, the team is capable of finishing higher than last season.

Wells said the men are starting to see their hard work pay off. But she realizes the team is still needs to improve in order to make an improvement from last season.

‘They’re still a ways away from getting to where they want and their full capability as a team,’ she said. ‘So they’re focused on that, and they have been all year.’

After the All-Ohio meet two weeks ago Wells said that the team’s confidence is beginning to show. That confidence is very evident in practice, she said.

For the women’s team, they are also very focused on the task at hand.

On a home course that is significantly flatter compared to the courses in BG’s last two races. And, times should be lower tomorrow compared to other races this season, assuming the weather is a non-issue.

Wells said the team is really focused heading into its second and final home meet tomorrow.

‘Their focus is very high right now,’ she said. ‘Our goal was to win both home meets this season.’

The Falcons came up just shy at the Mel Brodt Invitational last month when they finished second behind Dayton. Last year, the Falcons won the Invitational, placing four runners in the top 10, but Carly Wells – who placed fourth – is the only returning Falcon that finished in the top 10.

So with the support of a home crowd and realistic shot at winning the meet, BG can gain a lot of momentum heading into the MAC Championships at the end of the month. Like with the men’s team, Malone figures to be BG’s toughest competition tomorrow in the 21-team field. Malone has finished ahead of the Falcons in their last two meets. BG gets its first look at fellow MAC members Buffalo and Eastern Michigan.

Coming off of a ninth-place finish at the All-Ohio Championships two weeks ago, Wells wants to see a closer pack of runners and more aggression in the final third of the race tomorrow.

The Falcon Invite begins at 10:45 a.m. at Forrest Creason Golf Course in Bowling Green with the women’s race with the men following at 11:30 a.m.