Big Rapids, Mich. - One competitor opened action for the Ferris State University indoor track and field team on day one Thursday (March 7) at the 2013 NCAA Division II National Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala.
The 2013 NCAA-II Championships are taking place at the Birmingham (Ala.) CrossPlex as part of the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championships Festival and run thru Saturday (March 9). The Gulf South Conference and the City of Birmingham are serving as co-hosts of the championships.
Junior thrower Jessica Pilling represented the Bulldogs in the weight throw on Thursday and just missed reaching the final round. She placed 10th overall in the event with a top mark of 58'4 3/4" and was less than six inches away from ranking among the top nine performers who advanced to the finals in the 18-thrower event. She had held the nation's 15th-best performance going into the national championships before climbing five spots in the final standings.
Two Bulldog student-athletes are still scheduled to compete in a total of three events over the two remaining days of competition. Student-athletes qualified for the championships by reaching the automatic and provisional standards established for each event.
Ferris State junior standout Anna Rudd will compete in a pair of events as she is a national meet entrant in both the 3,000 meters and the 5,000 meters. Rudd holds the seventh-fastest seed time (16:42.95) in the 5,000 along with the 34th-best time going into the prelims of the 3,000 (9:37.06).
On the men's side, senior Ryan Chute was selected to compete in the mile run and holds the 21st-fastest time (4:08.25) heading into the national meet.
Rudd will take part in the women's 5,000 meters on March 8 at 6:45 p.m. (ET) with the 3,000 meters set for March 9 at 5:40 p.m. Finally, Chute will take part in the prelims of the mile on March 8 at 4:45 p.m. with the finals set for March 9 at 4:25 p.m.
Last year, Rudd claimed All-America honors at the 2012 outdoor national championships with a fifth-place performance in the 10,000 meters.
More than 500 participants (including student-athletes, coaches and administrators) from around the country are expected to visit Birmingham for the NCAA Championships.