Falcons struggle at Iona, ready to race again

Brad Frank and Brad Frank

The BG men’s cross country team left hungry from the Iona Meet of Champions on Saturday.

The men’s team has not been satisfied with their first three finishes so far this season, making them anxious to improve as much as possible for the next race.

‘We’re starting to see our hard work pay off, but each meet is leaving them hungry,’ said coach Cami Wells.

BG finished 18th out of 22 teams at the 8K race at Cortlandt Park in Bronx, NY.

Kent State won the meet with what Wells called an ‘impressive’ performance. The Golden Flashes placed six runners in the top 30.

Miami finished fifth with two runners placing in the top 25.

During the preseason, Kent State and Miami were picked to finish first and second in the Mid-American Conference, respectively.

The course was difficult, but Wells felt the team managed it well. ‘We wanted to finish higher as a team, but, we ran hard and we ran well as a group,’ she said. ‘With that type of course, the men handled it really well.’

Chris Moody led the Falcons for the third time this season. The junior finished 47th overall with a time of 26:42.

‘Chris Moody handled the level of competition well,’ Wells said. ‘He had a very strong race from start to finish.’

Moody wasn’t disappointed with himself or the team.

‘My objective was to finish between 25th and 50th, and I did,’ he said. ‘Everyone gave their best. I thought they did a really good job having never raced there before.’

Moody raced at Cortlandt Park three times in high school, but this particular BG team had never competed there before.

Jason Salyer (27:43; 93rd), Jesse Smuda (28:18; 118th), Jeff Ehler (28:35; 123rd), Johnstone Kirui (28:57; 134th), Abraham Busienei (29:11; 136th), Ben Leininger (29:21; 141st), and John Bernard (30:20; 193rd) competed for BG.

‘Jeff Ehler had his best cross country meet by far to date,’ Wells said. ‘He showed a lot of heart.’

The men won’t race again until Oct. 2 at the All-Ohio Championships in Delaware, Ohio.

Wells said she wants to combine hard work with rest during the next two weeks after having competed for three consecutive weekends.