The Bowling Green State University men’s and women’s cross country teams combined for 14 personal best times at the Paul Short Run, hosted by Lehigh, on Friday.
BGSU runner Kailee Perry, who had the school record in her sights, led the Falcon women to a 32nd overall finish while senior A.J. Haffa surpassed his own best eight-kilometer time by nearly a minute as the Bowling Green men placed 43rd.
The Men’s College Gold 8k event saw 428 athletes compete from 46 schools. Bowling Green collected 1,267 points behind seven personal bests.
“Proud of the way the team found one another and worked together,” BGSU coach Kyle Leatherman said. “We walked away with a few lifetime bests.
“Happy for the effort put in the second half of the race. We know what we need to do the next couple weeks to perform the way we want to at the MAC championships.”
North Carolina placed first as a team with 64 points while Villanova (100) and Utah State (105) placed second and third. Fellow Mid-American Conference schools Ohio and Central Michigan posted 38th and 39th place team scores.
Haffa came in first for the Falcons for the third straight race, posting a personal best time of 24:36.3 to place 185th overall. The senior bested his previous best 8k time of 25:28.8, set at the 2021 Live in Lou Cross Country Classic, by 52 seconds.
Sophomore Heriberto Alvarez shaved over a minute off his personal best 8k time, completing the race in 25:20.2 to place 304th. Alvarez’s previous best time was 26:30.1, set at the Mel Brodt Open two weeks ago.
Charlie Nowinski was the third Falcon to cross the finish line, placing just behind Alvarez in 311th. The sophomore completed the race in 25:21.5 to record a personal best.
Senior Cesar Arellano placed fourth for the Falcons and 333rd overall. Arellano posted an 8k time of 25:29.3.
Junior Mikey Worboy rounded out the top five Bowling Green finishers with a personal best time of 25:48.3. The junior finished 361st overall.
Freshmen Hunter Sidle (26:11.8), Josh Risko (27:00.2), and Bryce Weber (27:40.9) all set new personal bests in the meet, finishing 386th, 406th, and 415th, respectively.
Women’s 6K Event
The Women’s College Gold 6k featured 427 athletes from 46 schools. Bowling Green compiled seven personal bests to finish 32nd, tallying 889 points.
North Carolina (63), Georgetown (67) and Providence (176) posted the top-three team scores, while Mid-American Conference representatives Ohio and Central Michigan placed 20th and 31st.
Perry set a new personal best 6k time of 20:31.8 to finish 63rd overall. The senior’s performance was just under seven seconds shy of surpassing Rachel Walny’s school record time of 20:25.
“We took positive steps today while feeling there’s more there,” BGSU coach Lou Snelling said.“Kailee took a swipe at the school record, just missing it. Looking forward to coming back to our home course for the Falcon Invite.”
In the meantime, Perry bested her 2020 MAC Championship-winning time of 20:41 by just over eight seconds.
Kylee Cubbison placed second for the Falcons and 157th overall with a time of 21:15.6. The freshman finished the race 1:15.5 ahead of her Mel Brodt Open time of 22:31.1.
Senior Elise Johnson was the third Falcon to cross the finish line, setting a new personal best of 21:23.9. Johnson placed 175th overall.
Izzy Best posted a 282nd place finish with a time of 21:58.8. The freshman’s performance also earned her a new personal best.
Rounding out the top five for Bowling Green was Regina Rose, who placed 305th overall. Rose completed her first collegiate 6k in 22:12.2.
Also recording personal bests were freshman Emma Hellwege and sophomore Raegan Burkey. Hellwege (22:21.3) placed 323rd overall while Burkey (22:25.3) finished close behind in 333rd.
The Falcons will host the Falcon Invite, their final home meet of the season, on Oct. 14 at the Bowling Green Cross Country Course, with the women’s Steve Price 6,000-kilometer race kicking off the meet at 4:30 p.m.
The men’s Bob Rothermel 8,000-kilometer event will follow at 5:15 p.m., with awards to conclude the meet at 6 p.m.