Bulldog Cross Country Teams Advance To NCAA-II Nationals!

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams both qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships as both squads ran to third-place performances at the 2012 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships on Saturday (Nov. 3) in Kenosha, Wis.

The Bulldog women qualified for the national championships for the fifth consecutive year while the men's squad advanced to the national finals for the first time since the program was reinstated in 1999.

This year  will represent only the seventh time in history the Bulldog women's cross country team has qualified as a team for the national championships as their appearances the last four years (2008-11) were the program's first since 1987.

Meanwhile, the men's squad has advanced for the first time since 1985 and it will be their eighth all-time Division II national berth.  They also twice took part in the NCAA Division III Championships in the mid-1970's.

The men's team, which was ranked sixth in the region heading into the meet, climbed to third place and totaled 103 points in placing behind regional champion Grand Valley State (62) along with runner-up Ashland (92).

The men's team was led by sophomore Andrew Harper, who came in 14th overall in a time of 31:38 on the 10K men's course. Junior Brandon Cushman was only three spots back in 17th place at 31:39 with senior Ryan Chute also finishing among the top 20 scoring individuals in 19th place with a clocking of 31:41 overall.

Bulldog junior David Silversmith captured 20th place at 31:42 with senior Tyler Crossman rounding out the scoring lineup in 33rd place at 32:03.  Junior Alex Bladecki was FSU's sixth runner and earned 75th place at 32:49 with sophomore Spencer Gerber rounding out the lineup in 110th place at 33:50 on the day.

A total of 23 teams and 158 runners took part in the men's race hosted by Wisconsin-Parkside at the Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course.

Ferris State's women's squad came in third with 134 points behind champion GVSU (45) and second-place Saginaw Valley State (110).

The Bulldog women were led by junior Samantha Johnson, who took third place overall in the women's 6K field in a time of 21:16.  She was followed by senior Alyssa Osika in 15th place at 21:53 with sophomore Kristie LeSage next in line at 30th place (22:18).

Senior Jordan McGuire placed 37th at 22:29 with sophomore Breeann Ovokaitys coming in 49th overall at 22:41.  Junior Brittany Anderson also competed and was 65th (23:01) with junior Haleigh Przybylek finishing the lineup in 72nd place (23:10) for the Bulldogs.

A total of 23 teams also competed in the women's field.

The Bulldog women's cross country team currently ranks seventh nationally while the men's squad was 24th nationally going into the regional championships.

The 2012 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held on Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo., and hosted by Missouri Southern State University.

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