May 3, 2010

FSU Hosts GLIAC Track & Field Championships

The Ferris State University Athletics Department will host the 2010 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships this Wednesday to Friday, May 5-7, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.

The 38th annual men's event and the 30th annual women's outdoor championships will feature 11 conference schools, including the Ferris State men's and women's track squads.

The three-day meet will begin with day one action of the decathlon and heptathlon competition on Wednesday (May 5) at 2 p.m. (EDT) and first day events wrap up at 7:30 p.m.  Action continues all day from 9 a.m. (EDT) to 8:30 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday (May 6) with the multi events continuing in the morning followed by the field and running events officially beginning at 3 p.m. (EDT).

Friday's (May 7) final day of competition starts at 11 a.m. (EDT).  The meet will wrap up at approximately 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Friday with the league awards ceremony following the conclusion of the meet.
 
Parking will be available near the stadium and concessions will be sold throughout the event.

One of the premier NCAA Division II conferences in the nation, the GLIAC holds championships in 21 sports throughout the year. Conference members slated to compete on Friday include Ferris State, Northwood, Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State, Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State, Ashland, Findlay, Tiffin and Hillsdale. Northern Michigan will field a women's team only.

Eight places will be awarded for all individual and team relay events with the points figuring into the respective team scores. The closing awards ceremony will include the presentation of the league championship trophy along with season-ending awards for the league's top performers and coaches.

Last season (2009), Ashland took the men's team title and Grand Valley State captured the women's crown at Hillsdale, Mich. GVSU claimed both the 2010 men's and women's indoor titles in late February (Feb. 26-27) on its home track inside the Laker Turf Building at Allendale, Mich. The Lakers have presently won 10-straight women's outdoor championships while Ashland has won two consecutive men's outdoor crowns heading into this year's event.

Overall, Grand Valley State leads the GLIAC with 10 outdoor championships in the women's division.  Hillsdale ranks second with nine titles since joining the league in 1974 and has also earned runner-up honors nine times. Saginaw Valley State is third with eight championship trophies. Ashland has emerged victorious twice.

In the men's division, Ashland has claimed eight league titles, Saginaw Valley State has placed first on seven different occasions while both FSU and GVSU have six each to date. Hillsdale has emerged victorious five times, Wayne State picked up three outdoor titles as a former conference track competitor while Northwood has finished first twice.

Ferris State last hosted the league outdoor meet in 2006 at Top Taggart Field when Grand Valley State took both the men's and women's overall championships with 255 and 269 points, respectively.  FSU also hosted the event in 2001.

This year will mark only the fourth time the Bulldogs have played host to the event in the last 24 years as the event had not been held in Big Rapids since May 1, 1987, prior to the 2001 meet.

Top Taggart Field serves as the site for the Bulldogs' home track and field meets. The stadium, which also serves as home to FSU’s varsity football program, was dedicated October 1957 in honor of the school’s first official varsity football coach and his contributions to the institution. The facility underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in the spring of 1998, which involved the installation of a 400-meter, eight-lane track with a brick red urethane surface surrounding a top-of-the-line artificial turf playing surface. Also, renovations were completed at that time for two shot put circles, two long and triple jump pits, and a pair of pole vault boxes. The facility also includes the three-story Wheeler Pavilion, which was added in 2001 and features a ticket office, club level along with a media/game operations area.

The facility underwent its latest upgrade in the summer of 2008 as a new top of the line Mondo Ecofill artificial surface was installed as part of a one-million dollar project. Additionally, a video and message board was added to the west side of the Wheeler Pavilion.

In addition to Top Taggart Field, throwing events will also be held just south of the stadium on university practice fields.

The GLIAC Championships will represent the second Ferris home meet of the 2010 campaign as FSU also hosted the annual non-scoring Bulldog Invitational April 10 at Top Taggart Field. The FSU women's team finished eighth and the men's team wound up ninth at last year's league outdoor championships.

For complete information on the GLIAC Championships, please visit this link:
GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships Website

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