FSU To Host GLIAC Outdoor Championships

Senior Emily Cross will be among the Bulldogs in action at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships in May (FSU Photo Services)
Senior Emily Cross will be among the Bulldogs in action at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships in May (FSU Photo Services)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University Athletics Department will serve as the host school for this spring's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held May 5-7 at FSU's Top Taggart Field.

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).  Action continues all day from 9 a.m. (EDT) to 8:30 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday (May 6) with Friday's (May 7) final day of competition starting at 11 a.m. (EDT).  The meet will wrap up at approximately 3:30 p.m. (EDT) with the league awards ceremony following the conclusion of the meet.

Due to the large number of competitiors and events taking place, the athletics department is also in need of volunteers to help staff the meet in various shifts.  Any interested persons should contact FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic or Associate AD Jon Coles at (231) 591-2860.

"We're excited to host the GLIAC Outdoor Championships once again and this will be a great opportunity for fans to watch a number of talented student-athletes compete for league championships," Kirinovic said.  "This meet is a big undertaking and we're looking for anyone interested to help volunteer in a number of different ways."

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. 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 include Ferris State, Northwood, Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State, Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State, Ashland, Findlay, Northern Michigan and Hillsdale.

Ferris State last hosted the league outdoor meet in 2006 at Top Taggart Field and this season marks the third time the GLIAC Championships have been held in Big Rapids since 2001. However, this year represents only the fourth time the Bulldogs have played host to the event in the last 23 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 is also slated to host the annual Bulldog Invitational on April 10 at Top Taggart Field.

More information on the meet will be available in the near future at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.