Ferris State Cross Country Teams Dominate The Pack At Annual Home Invitational

Ferris State Cross Country Teams Dominate The Pack At Annual Home Invitational

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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams had a strong showing as they opened the 2015 campaign on Saturday (Sept. 5) morning with the 41st annual running of the Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational at FSU's Katke Golf Course.

In the collegiate competition, the Bulldogs brought home the top 10 place finishers in the men's race and the top eight overall in the women's field. The event also included both a prep boys and girls competition.

On the men's side, FSU sophomore Trevor Holowaty won the 8K event in a time fo 26:56.86 overall. He finished ahead of junior teammate Logan Hammer, who clocked 26:54.75 as the runner-up in the race.

Bulldog junior Kyle Richardson took third place (27:08.66) with sophomore Hunter Nivison fourth (27:24.92) and sophomore Connor Pilmore fifth (27:33.80) in the top five overall.

FSU also finished with the next five positions as sophomore Clayton Springer (27:36.30) was sixth followed by a pair of freshmen in Damien Halverson (27:39.13) and Roan Fahey (27:42.88) in seventh and eighth, respectively. Sophomore Jake Morey came in ninth (27:47.00) and freshman Casey Neal was 10th (27:53.03) for the Bulldogs.

A total of 16 Bulldog student-athletes competed in the men's race, which also included participants from Alpena Community College and the GVSU Running Club among others.

On the women's side, junior Emily Haynes emerged as the individual champion for the Bulldogs. She clocked 19:15.59 in the 5K event to finish ahead of junior teammate Racheal McDonald, who was second in a time fo 20:03.86 for FSU.

Ferris State freshman Jordan Lee palced third (20:17.25) with sophomore Jessica Delaney fourth (20:27.86) and senior Kristie LeSage fifth (20:41.19) for the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, senior Paige Koskinen took sixth place (20:58.65) with senior Jeanne Wilson seventh (21:49.64) and freshman Lindsay Christensen eighth (22:11.51) for the Bulldogs.

On the women's side, FSU had nine runners offically competing in the 12-runner field.

The Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational was renamed in 2010 in honor of former coach Ray Helsing, who passed away last fall. He 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 (2015) marked the 40th-straight (41st overall) running of the Bulldog Invitational and either a men's or women's collegiate event has been held each year since 1976.

The first men's race was held in 1971 before being discontinued and restarted in 1976. Ferris did not participate in men's cross country from 1994-98. The women's invitational has been held every year since the program began in 1980. Saturday's run was the 36th consecutive women's race.

Katke Golf Course, which opened in 1974, has played host to the 2003 GLIAC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships along with the 2005 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championships and the 2006 Michigan Intercollegiate Championships. The Bulldogs also hosted the 2008 and 2011 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships at Katke Golf Course.

Ferris State is next slated to compete in the Michigan Staet Spartan Invitational on Sept. 18 in East Lansing, Mich.