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Midland, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams officially opened the 2010 campaign by taking part in the Northwood Open on Friday (Sept. 3) in Midland.
The non-scoring team event included runners from both FSU and Northwood along with unattached athletes.
Ferris State took the top three overall places and had six of the top eight finishers in the women's competition, which featured a total of 32 individuals running on a 5K course.
Freshman Samantha Johnson led FSU by finishing first overall in a time of 19:42 and was followed by freshman Breeann Ovokaitys, who was clocked in 19:51 on the course. Freshman Brittany Anderson placed third at 19:56 as three Bulldog women's runners finished under 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, the FSU men's squad was paced by sophomore Alex Bladecki, who took third in the 5K men's race at 16:52 overall. He was followed by sophomore teammate Josh Kyser in fourth place at 16:53 in the race. The Bulldog men had only four official runners take part although several others competed unattached. All four men's runners wearing the FSU name placed in the top 10 overall.
A majority of the veteran runners on both the FSU men's and women's teams were held out of the event.
Northwood's women were led by Lauren Gagnon, who ran a time of 20:25 to place fourth overall. On the men's side, Michael Beard took home first place overall for the Timberwolves by finishing with a time of 16:16 at the 5K distance.
Ferris State is next slated to host the annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational at FSU's Katke Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 17.