Perry wins Falcon Invite for BGSU cross country

­The Bowling Green State University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in their final home meet of the 2022 season on Friday, hosting the Falcon Invite at the Bowling Green XC Course.

Kailee Perry earned an individual victory in the Women’s Steve Price 6k event as the women’s team placed fourth. AJ Haffa placed fourth overall in the Men’s Bob Rothermel 8k event, leading the Falcon men to a fifth place team score.

Women’s Steve Price 6K Event

The Women’s Steve Price 6k race saw 140 athletes competing from 13 schools. Bowling Green finished fourth, tallying 98 points in the event. Ohio took the team championship with 36 points, and Dayton posted a second-place team score with 76 points. Marshall (94) finished just four points ahead of the Falcons to finish third, while Central Michigan rounded out the top five with 115 points.

Individual Performances

Perry took first overall in the meet, leading for most of the race and finishing with a time of 20:55.8. The senior surpassed her 2022 Mel Brodt Open time of 21:48.0 by nearly a minute.

“Kailee took a big risk at the hill early, and this was a tough day to take that risk with the wind because she had to do so much work against it,” coach Lou Snelling said. “I think it just speaks to how fit and how strong she is right now that she could do that.”

Senior Katerina Shuble finished second for the Falcons and fourth overall, posting a 21:31.6 6k time while running unattached. The performance was her best of the season, beating her Mel Brodt Open time by 21 seconds.

Kylee Cubbison was the third Falcon to cross the finish line, completing the 6k in 22:16.3. The freshman finished 17th overall.

Elise Johnson earned a 22nd place finish with a time of 22:21.8. The performance marks her second fastest 6k time of the season.

Lillie Katsaras and Regina Rose finished back-to-back in 34th and 35th place. Katsaras posted a time of 22:53.5, recording a personal best while running unattached, and Rose finished a second behind at 22:54.7.

“We took some steps for sure,” Snelling said. “When you look at where we’re at versus a few of these teams over the last few meets, we took some steps. I think we’re going to learn a lot. There’s that opportunity there, and ultimately, if we can, I think we can be in a good place two weeks from now.”

Men’s Bob Rothermel 8K Event

The Men’s Bob Rothermel 8k featured 114 athletes from 10 schools. The Falcon men finished fifth, compiling a team score of 116 points. Dayton (34) took first place, with Ohio (81), Central Michigan (96), and Marshall (106) placing second through fourth. All competing teams recorded a team score in the event except Kent State.

Individual Performances

AJ Haffa earned his third top five finish of the season, finishing fourth overall with a time of 25:03.6. The senior bested his 8k time from the Mel Brodt Open by 44 seconds, posting his career best time on the Bowling Green XC Course.

Heriberto Alvarez also ran his best 8k on the Bowling Green XC course, crossing the finish line at 25:53.8. The junior finished 17th overall.

Charlie Nowinski was the third Falcon finisher, placing 29th with a time of 26:08.6.

Finishing just behind Nowinski was Cesar Arellano, who crossed the finish line in 32nd place. The senior completed the 8k in 26:12.1.

Mikey Worboy capped off the top five Bowling Green finishers with a time of 26:39.0. The junior finished the race in 46th place.

“I’m really proud of AJ’s performance,” said coach Kelly Leatherman. “He put himself again in that top pack, finishing fourth in a deep field with some big conference competition.

“Herbie, being our second man out there, taking a big risk for the program, was also like 40 seconds faster than what he did here a month ago on the same course. So, I’m definitely happy with their individual performances. As a team, we’re still not where we want to be, but we’re getting closer and closer. Overall, we’ve got two more weeks to figure this thing out and finish out the season the way that we want to.”

The Falcons will next compete at Mid-American Conference Championships on Oct. 29. The meet will take place on the Ohio University Golf Course in Athens. The meet will begin with the women’s 6k event at 11 a.m., and the men’s 8k race will follow at noon.