Women's Track/CC Fifth-Best Nationally

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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's cross country/track and field program capped off one of its most memorable seasons in history by being tabbed fifth nationally in the 2011-12 United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year standings.

The USTFCCCA Program of the Year standings are based on the combined team finishes in each of the NCAA's cross country/track and field sports in a given academic year.

The Bulldogs totaled 36 points in the final standings under head coach Steve Picucci.  Grand Valley State won the Division II Program of the Year Award with five points followed by Adams State (Colo.) with nine points and Western State (Colo.) in third with 16.5 points.  The University of Mary (N.D.) was fourth with 28 points in front of the Bulldogs.

A total of 12 teams, including GVSU, Adams State, Western State, U-Mary, Ferris State, Ashland, Shippensburg, Saginaw Valley State, Augustana (S.D.), Western Washington, Bentley (Mass.) and Pittsburg State (Kan.), earned national finishes in each of the three sports this academic year.

The NCAA Division II Program of the Year Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs.  The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution's finish at the NCAA Division II Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships.  Scoring is based on the team's finish at each NCAA Division II Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.

Ferris State earned its points based on an eighth-place finish in women's cross country along with an 11th-place effort in outdoor track and field and a 16th-place performance in indoor track and field.

In the fall, the Bulldogs had a pair of cross country All-Americans in senior Tina Muir (St. Albans, U.K.) and Anna Rudd (Leslie) as the team ran to a school-record tying eighth place finish at the national championships. Muir became the program's first-ever four-time cross country All-American after posting the highest individual finish ever for the Bulldogs with a seventh-place national performance.

During the winter indoor season, Ferris State concluded the national championships 16th overall with 11 points.  FSU brought home four indoor women's track All-Americans as the distance medley relay team placed fourth nationally with a contingent of Muir and juniors Shelby Janutol (Troy), Zoey Hohmann (Munith/Stockbridge) and Alyssa Osika (Waterford/Mott).  Muir earned a second All-America effort at the meet with a third-place showing in the 5,000 meters.  Janutol also earned recognition as the NCAA's Elite 89 Award recipient for holding the highest grade point average at the national meet.

Finally, in the outdoor campaign, Ferris State tallied 17 points in placing 11th at last weekend's (May 24-26) national outdoor meet in Pueblo, Colo.  Muir capped off a stellar collegiate career by earning runner-up honors in the 5,000 meters to become an 11-time All-American for the Bulldogs.  She also was fourth in the 10,000 meters with Rudd claiming All-America recognition in the event as well with a fifth-place performance.

FSU's 17 points and 11th-place team finish at last week's national outdoor track and field championships are the best in school history.

Below are the top five teams in the Program Of The Year Standings:

Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5 FINAL)
Women's Division II

1

Grand Valley State

5 pts

2

Adams State

9 pts

3

Western State

16½ pts

4

U-Mary

28 pts

5

Ferris State

36 pts

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