Bulldog Men 13th, Women 22nd At D2 Cross Country Championships

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams wrapped up the 2012 campaign by competing in the NCAA Division II National Championships on Saturday (Nov. 17) in Joplin, Mo.

The Bulldog men's squad, which was making its first appearance at the national championships since 1985, finished 13th overall in a competitive field.  Meanwhile, the Bulldog women's team placed 22nd overall in its fifth consecutive trip to the national championships.

FSU totaled 370 points in the men's division, which was won by Adams State with 34 points on the Missouri Southern State Cross Country Course in Joplin.

Junior Brandon Cushman led the men's team as he came in 55th overall on the 10K course in a time of 30:46.3 on the day.  Sophomore Andrew Harper was next in line as he placed 85th in a time fo 31:10.6 overall. 

Bulldog senior Tyler Crossman captured 89th place at 31:19.0 followed by Alex Bladecki, who came in 99th overall at 31:30.3 for the Bulldogs.  Senior Ryan Chute took 113th place (31:38.1) with junior David Silversmith taking 162nd place (32:10.3).  Sophomore Spencer Gerber was 188th (32:36.5).

The women's team was paced by senior Alyssa Osika as she finished 104th overall on the women's 6K course in a time of 22:22.6.  Senior Jordan McGuire was 106th (22:23.4) with junior Samantha Johnson taking 131st place (22:38.3) and junior Haleigh Przybylek coming in 148th (22:45.2) on the day.

FSU sophomore Kristie LeSage placed 151st (22:47.1) with sophomore Breeann Ovokaitys finishing 205th (23:34.5) for the Bulldogs.  Sophomore Kayla Smith wound up 231st (24:21.8).

The Bulldog women totaled 534 points in the 32-team field that was won by Grand Valley State with 101 total points.

The Ferris State 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 Nov. 3 in Kenosha, Wis.

This year represented 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 advanced for the first time since 1985 and it was FSU's eighth all-time Division II national berth.  They also twice took part in the NCAA Division III Championships in the mid-1970's.

Both Bulldog cross country teams are coached by Steve Picucci.

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