Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's track and field teams had eight student-athletes advance into the finals in the sprint and middle distance events with strong showings on Thursday (May 1) at the 2014 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Outdoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
FSU posted the top qualifying performance in three events and had the second-fastest mark in two others between the men's and women's competition combined as the Bulldogs opened action in the annual league event at the SPIRE Institute in Genva. The GLIAC Championships are being hosted by Lake Erie College.
A total of eight runners advanced to the finals in the sprint events with 12 moving on to tomorrow's final in the 1,500 meters. Along with those who advanced, the Bulldogs also recorded three top eight finishes in final round competition in various events
The Bulldogs' Damonta Madden reached the finals of the 200 meters with the fastest-qualifying performance as he was clocked in a time of 21.60 overall. In addition, he moved into the finals of the 100 meters with the second-fastest overall time as he was clocked in 10.65 in the race.
Meanwhile, senior Alex Bladecki moved into the finals of the 800 meters by recording the seventh-best time with a posting of 1:54.71. Senior Bill King had the second-best preliminary time in the 1,500 meters with a showing of 3:55.29 and also moved into the final round.
FSU's Zoey Hohmann tallied the fastest-qualifying performance in the women's 400 meters with a showing of 56.95 to reach the final round. Teammate Shea Van Klompenberg also reached Thursday's event final as she posted a time of 58.18 for the sixth-best mark on the day.
The Bulldogs' Breeann Ovokaitys turned in the best qualifying time in the 1,500 meters as she was timed in 4:38.84.
Ferris State also had a performer reach the finals of the 800 meters with senior Alyssa Osika clocking the second-fastest qualifying mark in the event with a showing of 2:12.87.
In final round action, Bulldog senior David Silversmith claimed eighth place in the men's 10,000 meters with a clocking of 31:35.47 overall. He placed just ahead of teammates Brandon Cushman and Lucas Copi, who came in ninth and 10th, respectively, with times of 31:45.35 and 31:46.11 overall.
FSU's Lucas Johnson came in seventh overall in the hammer throw with a toss of 178-8 on the day. Hayden Francisco took 10th overall in the javelin (153-6).
On the women's side, Briana Raasio placed third in the javelin as she threw 128-7 to pick up six points in the team standings for the Bulldogs.
The GLIAC Championships wrap up on Friday (May 2) with the bulk of events slated to contest final round action at the SPIRE Institute. Final day action on Friday is slated to begin with the field events at 10:30 a.m. (ET) and run until late afternoon.
All 16 conference schools are taking part in the GLIAC Championships. Fourteen teams are involved with the men's competition while all 16 schools currently sponsor women's track and field.