Cross country uses pre-nationals to prepare for MAC Championships

Jamar Dunson and Jamar Dunson

BG’s women’s cross country team, led by junior Becca Rae, finished in the top ten at the Indiana State Pre-Nationals.

Out of the 35 competing teams, the Falcons came in seventh place and finished first out of the five teams from the Mid-American Conference. Those schools were Central Michigan, Kent State, Akron and Ohio.

In the women’s 6,000 meter, Rae came in 24th out of 214 runners, finishing with a time of 22:15.8. Her placement was an improvement over last year, when she came in 97th place.

“Becca took a nice step today running almost 30 seconds faster than last year with very challenging course conditions,” head coach Lou Snelling said. “Team-wise we accomplished a lot of our goals for the meet. But realistically missed the opportunity to be top three. In two weeks we have an opportunity, but will have to come together as a team to make it happen.”

Redshirt sophomore Mackenzie McMillin finished in 44th place, setting a new personal best time of 22:43.8.

“Individually the race did not go exactly as I would have hoped,” McMillin said. “But for the conditions and for our first 6k of the season, it was a solid day.”

McMillin said the team came together well to finish first out of the MAC schools at the meet.

“So that is a definite positive and builds our confidence going into the MAC in two weeks,” she said.

In the men’s race, the Falcons finished in 27th place out of 28 spots. Freshman Kohl Taberner led the Falcons with a time of 26:43.8, finishing first for the Falcons. This was his second race finishing first for his team.

Along with Taberner, redshirt freshman Travis Jex, redshirt senior Greg Black, redshirt freshman Nathan Kuck and junior Jeremy Richard all made the top five positions for the Falcons.

“Our men competed well with each other,” said assistant coach Eric Thatcher. “With six of our eight experiencing their second 8k, this race provided us with many teachable moments.”

Despite the place the team finished in, Thatcher looks forward to the team improving in the MAC championships meet.

“We look forward to the championship meets in the next month at MAC and the Great Lakes region,” Thatcher said. “We look forward to the opportunity to turn our current fitness into favorable results.”

This was the last race for both teams before they travel to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, for the MAC Championship meet on Nov. 1.