Ferris State Cross Country Starts Season Strong In Annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invite

Ferris State Cross Country Starts Season Strong In Annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invite

Click Here For Final Race Results (PDF)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams kicked off the 2014 campaign with a strong showing on Saturday (Sept. 6) in the 40th running of the Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational held at FSU's Katke Golf Course.

The non-scoring competition included several schools from across the region on a sunny morning on the FSU campus. Both collegiate and prep divisions were contested with several local schools also part of the action.

Ferris State's Kyle Richardson emerged victorious in the 8K men's race as he turned in a time of 26:48.22 in winning the event. He was one of four FSU runners in the top six overall and among nine Bulldogs to place within the top 15 of the competition.

Behind Richardson came Logan Hammer, who finished third (27:01.26). Andrew Harper placed fifth (27:30.67) with Trevor Holowaty coming in sixth (27:39.41).

FSU's Clayton Springer finished 10th (28:18.46) with Jake Morey 11th (28:24.12), Douglas Hulbert 12th (28:28.58) and Chase Benson 13th (28:28.69) in a pack of Bulldogs. Finally, Connor Pilmore placed 15th (28:47.51) for Ferris State.

In the women's 5K collegiate race, the Bulldogs had six individuals finish in the top 12 overall. Fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) member Saginaw Valley State took the top three spots with Emily Short winning the race in a time of 18:47.22.

For the Bulldogs, Kristie LeSage led the way with a fourth-place effort as she clocked 19:19.76 in leading FSU. Emily Haynes came in sixth (19:29.93) with Samantha Humphrey taking seventh place (19:39.30) and Ashley Hamilton finishing ninth (20:01.61).

Alyssa Cummings also placed in the top 10 with a 10th-place performance (20:31.29) while Racheal McDonald placed 12th (20:37.08). FSU also had two others in the top 15 as Jeanne Wilson was 14th (20:52.83) and Paige Koskinen wound up 15th (20:56.03). A total of 11 Bulldog women's runners competed in the race.

The Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational was renamed in 2010 in honor of former coach Ray Helsing, who guided the Bulldog cross country along with track and field programs from 1968-82. Helsing was inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 and tutored more All-Americans than any coach in FSU history. He helped produce 20 All-Americans in cross country and track from 1968-82 and was best known for founding and coaching Ferris cross country, leading his teams to a 77-17 dual meet mark and four Great Lakes Conference titles.

This year (2014) marked the 39th-straight (40th overall) running of the Bulldog Invitational and either a men's or women's collegiate event has been held each year since 1976. Saturday's run was the 35th consecutive women's race.

The event marked the lone scheduled home competition of the year for the Bulldogs, who are being guided this fall by interim head coach and former Bulldog standout Jared Kelsh. The Bulldog men's squad is presently ranked among the top five teams in the region and 20th in the country.

Ferris State returns to action on Friday (Sept. 12) by taking part in the Michigan State Spartan Open in East Lansing, Mich.