BG women tame tough course, place in top 10

Brad Frank and Brad Frank

Senior Andrea Pereira de Almeida finished 21st out of 186 runners to lead BG, as the women’s cross country managed an eighth-place finish Saturday on a challenging course at the Iona Meet of Champions.

Carly Wells (24:13; 38th), Ashley Fischer (24:15; 41st), Abby Koch (24:41; 59th), Sally Kandie (24:42; 61st), Megan Kelsey (24:57; 67th) and Heather Conger (24:59; 71st) were the other Falcons to compete.

Harvard won the 21-team meet with 44 points, finishing with four runners in the first six spots. From the Mid-American Conference, Kent State placed fourth.

The course at Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y., was actually longer than a 6K and full of hills which were comprised of gravel terrain.

Coach Cami Wells said the women ran a solid race, considering the difficulty of the course.

‘The amount of hills on the course may have been intimidating,’ Wells said. ‘It was something new and different, but it’s something that will benefit us later.’

Wells said she wasn’t disappointed with eighth, despite wishing to place in the top five.

‘We have the ability to run better. But we raced hard, and I saw a lot of positive things,’ she said. ‘We finished better this week, which is a very good sign.’

Wells said she wanted to get the most out of everyone out there, including Powers and Conger, who were held out of running last weekend at the Mel Brodt Invitational.

‘We’ve been very consistent all year, and I’m happy with the effort they showed,’ she said. ‘Overall the field was a quality one, which we expected.’

Wisconsin finished third and is nationally ranked; numerous other teams are ranked in their divisions and regions. BG finished only 16 points behind Cincinnati, a team BG wanted to compete well against.

Wells highlighted many individual performances.

She said Pereira de Almeida had one of the best cross country races, if not the best, of her career.

‘She has been training at a really high level,’ Wells said. ‘To see her have that type of race with this type of competition, this is a great accomplishment for her.’

Wells said freshman Abby Koch ran her first 6K well and noted the consistency of Carly Wells and Ashley Fischer so far this season.

‘Sally Kandie certainly had one of her best cross country races. She’s improved quite dramatically,’ Wells said.

The Falcons have this weekend off after competing the past three. Their next meet is Oct. 2, in Delaware, Ohio, at the All-Ohio Championships.