Holland, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's
cross country teams officially opened the 2009 campaign by taking
part in the Vanderbilt Invitational hosted by Hope College on
Saturday (Sept. 5) morning at Ridge Point Church in Holland,
The Bulldog women took third place of six competing teams in the women's division with the FSU men finishing fifth overall. Selected runners from both teams competed in the season-opening event.
Grand Valley State captured both the women's and men's team titles with 16 and 23 points, respectively. Hope College placed second in the women's division with 58 points while FSU totaled 79 points. Cornerstone, Albion and Olivet also took part.
Cornerstone finished second in the men's race with 55 points followed by Hope with 78 points. Albion was fourth in the field with 88 points and FSU recorded 131 points.
The FSU women's team, which is ranked 18th in the NCAA Division II Preseason Coaches Poll, was paced by freshman Anna Ruud, who clocked 19:23 in placing 11th overall in the 5K event.
Freshman Alyssa Osika came in 12th (19:31), freshman Shelby Janutol was 14th (19:44) and junior Megan Josey placed 18th (20:14) for FSU. Freshman Felicia Peacock rounded out the scoring individuals for the Bulldog women with a 24th-place performance (20:31).
Meanwhile, the men's team was led by freshman Alex Bladecki's 23rd-place performance (27:45) on the 8K course. Sophomore Steve Neshkoff wound up 25th (27:50), freshman Ryan Chute was 26th (27:51) and senior Brian Reynolds took 27th place (27:58). Freshman Andrew Campbell placed 30th (28:31).
Several returning veterans did not compete for the Bulldogs in the event, including a returning FSU women's All-American in junior Tina Muir.
Ferris is next slated to host its own Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational on Friday, Sept. 18, at FSU's Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids, Mich. The event, which will include both high school and college divisions, begins at 4 p.m. (EDT).