Women's CC Advances To NCAA Nationals!

FSU's Tina Muir runs to victory in Saturday's regional championships (Timothy D. Sofranko)
FSU's Tina Muir runs to victory in Saturday's regional championships (Timothy D. Sofranko)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's cross country team is headed to the NCAA Division II National Championships for the third consecutive year after placing second overall in the 2010 NCAA-II Midwest Regional on Saturday (Nov. 20) in Louisville, Ky.

The Bulldog women tallied 79 points in placing behind regional champion Grand Valley State (26 points).  Hilldale took third (138) with the top three squads in the 22-team regional field all advancing to the national championships.

Meanwhile, the Bulldog men concluded their 2010 season with a 12th-place finish (324 points). GVSU also won the men's crown with 21 points.

In addition to earning runner-up laurels, the Bulldog women's team also had the region's individual champion as senior Tina Muir finished first at the regional meet for the second consecutive year. Muir was clocked in 21:05.96 on the 6K course at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park and finished nearly five seconds ahead of second-place performer Katherine McCarthy of Grand Valley State.

Freshman Samantha Johnson also placed among the region's top 15 performers with an 11th-place finish (21:50.01).  FSU sophomore Alyssa Osika came in 18th (22:20.32), sophomore Anna Rudd was 24th (22:29.35) and freshman Brittany Anderson took 25th (22:31.31) as the Bulldog women placed five in the top 25 overall.

Sophomore Shelby Janutol was right behind in 27th place (22:33.75) and senior Paige Onweller came in 49th (23:01.39) among the 150 runners in the women's field.

In the men's race, the Bulldogs were led by freshman David Silversmith's 44th-place showing (32:41.63) on the 10K course.  He was followed by sophomore Michael Schulte in 44th place (32:44.45) with sophomore Ryan Chute coming in 52nd (33:00.56) and freshman Bill King placing 91st (33:58.41).

Sophomore Andrew Campbell wound up 100th (34:11.56) in the field followed by senior Derek Childs in 108th place (34:32.14) and sophomore Jordan Slate at 124th (35:41.94).

The men's field included 143 runners with GVSU's Tyler Emmorey capturing first-place honors in a time of 30:58.72 overall.

The Ferris women's cross country team is ranked eighth in the latest United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II National Rankings under third-year head coach Steve Picucci.

The Ferris women's cross country team ran to a 11th-place team finish while tying for the second-highest finish in school history during the 2009 NCAA Division II National Championships last fall (Nov. 21) in Evansville, Ind. It marked the second consecutive trip to nationals for the FSU women after they placed third in the regional for the second-straight campaign.

This year now represents only the fifth time in history the Bulldog women's cross country team has qualified as a team for the national championships as their 2008 and 2009 berths were the program's first appearances since 1987.

A year ago, Muir took 12th place overall for the second-straight year at the 2009 NCAA Division II National Championships in earning All-America honors for the second consecutive campaign.

The NCAA Division II National Championships will also be held in Louisville on Saturday, Dec. 4.