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Big Rapids, Mich. - A total of six Ferris State University men's and women's cross country student-athletes have been named to the 2012 United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region Team for their efforts in leading their respective Bulldog teams to the national championships.
Senior Ryan Chute, juniors Brandon Cushman and David Silversmith along with sophomore Andrew Harper achieved all-region status after leading the FSU men's squad to a third-place finish at the NCAA-II Midwest Regional held on Saturday (Nov. 3) in Kenosha, Wis.
Meanwhile, junior Samantha Johnson and senior Alyssa Osika picked up all-region laurels in also helping the women's team to a third-place regional performance.
By virtue of their respective regional finishes, 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 1985.
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 was led by Harper, who came in 14th overall in a time of 31:38 on the 10K men's regional course. Cushman was only three spots back in 17th place at 31:39 with Chute also finishing among the top 20 scoring individuals in 19th place with a clocking of 31:41 overall. Silversmith captured 20th place at 31:42.
Johnson took third place overall in the women's 6K field in a time of 21:16. She was followed by Osika in 15th place at 21:53 as both attained all-region accolades.
Overall, the USTFCCCA recognized nearly 400 athletes that earned all-region awards for cross country in Division II following this weekend's NCAA Regional Championships. Athletes of member schools that finished in the top 25 individually at one of the eight regional sites earned the honor.
The 2012 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held on Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo., and hosted by Missouri Southern State University.