ATHENS, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Mid-American Conference Championships at the Ohio University Golf Course on Saturday.
Kailee Perry finished ninth overall to collect her second All-MAC honor in three years as the women’s team placed sixth. The men’s team posted an eighth-place team score as AJ Haffa finished 26th.
Women’s 6K Event
The women’s 6k race featured 104 athletes representing all 12 Mid-American Conference schools. The Falcons posted a team score of 138 points to place sixth in the event. Toledo collected 29 points to finish as team champions for the second straight year, while Ohio (83), Eastern Michigan (106), Miami (126), and Western Michigan (127) rounded out the top five. Central Michigan (161), Kent State (209), Ball State (253), Akron (282), Buffalo (292), and Northern Illinois (350) finished seventh through 12th in the meet. Miami’s Carmen Riano was the individual champion, crossing the finish line in 19:30.3.
Perry Makes All-MAC Second Team
Perry placed ninth overall in the 6k event to earn second-team All-MAC honors. The senior completed the race in 20:35.7, her second fastest time of the season. Perry now has two All-MAC recognitions in three seasons, earning second-team honors in 2022 and first-team honors in 2020.
Freshman Kylee Cubbison finished second for Bowling Green and 24th overall with a time of 21:27.3. Cubbison finished fourth among freshmen in the meet while posting the second fastest time of her career.
Regina Rose crossed the finish line third for the Falcons, shattering her personal best by 26 seconds with a time of 21:46.2. The freshman placed 33rd overall in the 6k race.
Senior Elise Johnson ran her fastest MAC Championship race to date, finishing in 40th with a time of 21:54.2, while freshman Lillie Katsaras crossed the finish line just behind her in 41st. Katsaras surpassed her previous best 6k time by nearly a minute, posting a time of 21:57.0
“It was a really aggressive race,” said coach Lou Snelling. “There was a lot of talent up front, and that really drove the whole field. I’m proud of (Kailee) in terms of the turnaround from last year … and I’m excited to see where she goes with it in two weeks at regionals. From there, a lot of the group is very young, and they handled that aggressive race very well. We wanted a little bit more from a team perspective … but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m proud of them. They should be proud from themselves. They represented Bowling Green well.”
Men’s 8K Event
The men’s 8k event saw 72 runners from the eight Mid-American Conference men’s cross country programs competing in the race. The Falcons placed eighth as a team with 176 points, finishing just one point behind Central Michigan (175), who took seventh. Miami posted 46 points to earn the team championship, while Obsaa Feda (23:39.7) earned the individual title for the RedHawks. Toledo (54), Eastern Michigan (79), Buffalo (111), Kent State (111), and Ohio (168) placed second through sixth in the event.
AJ Haffa finished first for the Orange and Brown and 26th overall, posting a time of 24:44.6. The performance marks the senior’s second fastest time of the season and the highest MAC Championship finish of his career.
Senior Cesar Arellano was the second Falcon to complete the 8k, posting a 28th place finish. The senior kept a pace of 24:52.0, which was in sight of his personal best time of 24:40.1, set in the 2021 Live In Lou Classic. The performance also marked his fastest time of 2022.
Mikey Worboy set a new personal best 8k time, crossing the finish line in 25:16.5. The junior placed 37thoverall and was the third Falcon to finish the race.
Sophomore Heriberto Alvarez placed fourth for Bowling Green and 48th overall, recording a time of 25:43.3 in his first MAC Championship race.
Rounding out the top five Falcon finishers was Hunter Sidle, who finished two places behind Alvarez in 50th. The freshman’s time of 25:47.3 was a personal best, surpassing his 2022 Paul Short Run time of 26:11.8 by 24 seconds.
“We went out with a target on Central (Michigan),” said coach Kelly Leatherman. “We lost by one point, which is one of those bittersweet moments in racing. I think everyone kind of feels, “I could’ve gotten one guy,” so there are a lot of tears but pride around it. I think in general we had an average day, so to be within one point on an average day, that’s a positive for the program.
“Across the board, though, for some of us it went fast, it went hard, and we did our best to respond to it, but you can’t be disappointed when you run average and you lose by one point.”
The Falcons will travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, to compete in the Great Lakes Regional Championships on Nov. 11. The meet will be hosted by Indiana State University at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in eastern Vigo County, Ind. The women’s 6k will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the men’s 10k at 11 a.m.