Men’s team meets goal of scoring better finish than last season

Brad Frank and Brad Frank

Coach Cami Wells wanted the men’s cross country team to finish better this season than they did last year at the All-Ohio Cross Country Championships. And finish higher they did.

BG went into the All-Ohio Friday wanting to improve on its 27th-place finish last year. The team showed considerable improvement, finishing in 15th-place with 447 points.

Ohio State won the 38-team meet with five runners placing in the top 10. BG finished behind the two Mid-American Conference teams, Ohio (seventh) and Akron (eighth), that competed.

Chris Moody and Jason Salyer each finished in the top 30 for BG. Moody placed 24th, with a time of 27:31. Salyer finished just six seconds later in 30th place.

Jesse Smuda finished 79th in the 269-man field with a time of 28:23.

‘I’m extremely pleased with how Chris, Jason, and Jesse ran,’ Wells said. ‘Chris and Jesse improved quite a bit from last year’s All-Ohio.’

Salyer, a freshman, has finished second for BG in every race this season. Meanwhile, Moody has been BG’s top runner all year.

‘Individually, [Friday] was my best race this year. The conditions weren’t ideal, but I gave my best effort,’ Salyer said. ‘Friday was definitely a confidence booster for me. I was able to stay close to Chris the whole race. I’m going to try to stay with him longer in the next race.’

Salyer said the team needs to understand that each individual isn’t locked into a certain order of finish. So he believes if everyone steps up, then BG can beat some teams at the MAC championship this month.

‘The team had [its] best race as a whole on Friday,’ Salyer said. ‘But we have a lot more in us.’

Johnstone Kirui finished 41st among Division I runners, with a time of 29:22. Also competing for BG were Abraham Busienei (29:59), Peter Miles (30:09) and Jeff Ehler (31:15).

Wells said the men outside of BG’s top three are working to close gaps between runners ahead of them. The team can sacrifice points by passing opposing runners at key points of the race.

‘We have to close gaps,’ she said. ‘That’s something we have to continue to work on to put ourselves in position to compete with schools like Ohio, Akron, Buffalo, and Toledo at conference.’

Wells said she was excited about finishing in the top half of the field. She mentioned the men have been working hard to show they’re improved.

‘This was a well-deserved accomplishment,’ Wells said. ‘We still have a ways to go, but at least they can see that their hard work is paying off.’

The Falcons’ next meet is when they host the Falcon Invite on Oct. 17. The MAC Championships, hosted by Ohio University, are Oct. 31.