Ferris Cross Country Performs Well At Home

FSU runners Alex Best (left) and Tina Muir (right) compete in Friday's home meet (Photo Courtesy Sandy Gholston)
FSU runners Alex Best (left) and Tina Muir (right) compete in Friday's home meet (Photo Courtesy Sandy Gholston)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams hosted the 34th straight running of the Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational on Friday (Sept. 18) at FSU's Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids, Mich.

The Bulldog women's team captured eight of the top nine individual places while the FSU men's squad netted eight of the top 10 finishers overall in the non-scoring collegiate competition.

A high school boys and girls division was also held with Big Rapids High School claiming the boys 5K championship with 29 points and Manton High School taking the girls 5K crown with 38 points.

Individual winners were FSU junior Tina Muir (St. Albans, United Kingdom) in the women's 5K collegiate race (18:04.74), unattached runner Mike Mangieri in the men's 8K field (26:12.94), Manton's Stephanie Ingraham in the prep girls race (20:13.86) and Aaron Tait of Crossroads Charter Academy in the prep boys competition (17:00.40).

Muir paced the nationally-ranked FSU women's squad in its lone home meet of the season by winning the women's event in convincing fashion.  Bulldog freshman Anna Ruud (Leslie) came in second overall (18:49.39) followed by fellow FSU freshman Shelby Janutol (Troy) in third (19:35.90).

Ferris freshman Alyssa Osika (Waterford/Mott) captured fourth place in the women's field (19:37.76), junior Paige Onweller (Lapeer/East) was sixth (20:09.03), freshman Jordan McGuire (Shepherd) placed seventh (20:24.66), freshman Felicia Peacock (Hesperia) took eighth place (20:27.79) and junior Sarah Creed (Saginaw/Swan Valley) finished ninth overall (20:30.54) for FSU.

The Bulldog women, who were ranked 18th in the 2009 United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association Preseason Division II National Rankings, tallied 10 of the top 12 finishers and 11 of the top 14 overall in the field consisting of 32 competitors.

Meanwhile, in the men's competition, the Bulldogs totaled 10 of the top 13 performers.  Senior Curtis Begley (Ann Arbor/Saline) led the way by taking second place (26:24.59) in the field of 38 runners.  Sophomore Tyler Crossman (Rapid River) placed third (27:10.31) and junior Alex Best (Alma/St. Louis) was fifth overall (27:27.33).

Junior Derek Childs (Wheeler/Breckenridge) finished sixth (27:51.65), sophomore Steve Neshkoff (Bedford) took seventh place ( 27:51.89), freshman Ryan Chute (Waterford/Mott) was eighth (28:03.60), senior Brian Reynolds (Kalamazoo/Otsego) wound up ninth (28:08.88) and freshman Josh Kyser (Shepherd) came in 10th overall (28:09.70) for the Bulldog men.

The men's and women's collegiate divisions also included runners from Davenport, Kirtland Community College and Schoolcraft in addition to unattached performers.

The Bulldog Invitational was renamed this year 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.

This year (2009) marked the 34th-straight (35th 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 while the women's invitational has been held every year since the program began in 1980. Friday's run was the 30th consecutive women's race.

The Bulldog men's and women's cross country teams are next tentatively slated to take part in the Wisconsin-Parkside Lucian Rosa Open on Saturday, Oct. 10, in Kenosha, Wis.

Please visit this link below for complete meet results: