Pilling, Osika Pick Up All-Region Recognition & Set To Open NCAA Outdoor Championships

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Big Rapids, Mich. - Two Ferris State University women's track and field athletes have officially been chosen as U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region honorees for the 2012-13 season and will take part in this weekend's NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships.

Senior Alyssa Osika (Waterford/Mott) along with junior Jessica Pilling (London, Ontario) both claimed all-region recognition for the Bulldogs this year. A total of 1,283 student-athletes pickedup all-region laurels, including 613 on the women's side.  Both will compete at the national championships set for May 23-25 in Pueblo, Colo., at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Colorado State-Pueblo will serve as host of the championships.

The all-region teams were based on performances from this past season.  Osika claimed all-region kudos in the 800 meters with Pilling picking up recognition in the hammer throw.

Osika qualifed to compete in the 800 meters at the national meet and holds the 21st-fastest time entering the competition with a top performance of 2:11.96 this season. The prelims of the women's 800 meters will be held on Friday, May 24, at 8 p.m. (ET) with the finals set for Saturday (May 25) at 8:55 p.m. (ET).

Meanwhile, Pilling will take part in the hammer throw and heads into the national championships owning the sixth-best toss (57.21m) of 21 participants in the event.  The hammer throw takes place on the opening day of the national championships on Thursday (May 23) at 5:30 p.m. (ET).

A year ago, Pilling took ninth place and narrowly missed earning All-America honors at the outdoor national championships in the hammer throw.  She was 10th at this year's indoor nationals in the weight throw. Meanwhile, Osika previously earned indoor track All-America accolades as a member of the school's distance medley relay team in 2012.

Earlier this year, Osika earned runner-up honors in the 800 meters at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships held May 1-3 in Ashland, Ohio.  Pilling took fifth place in the hammer throw at the league meet.

This season, at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Birmingham (Ala.), the Bulldogs' Anna Rudd (Leslie) claimed a national championship in the 5,000 meters and earned national runner-up honors in the 3,000 meters while leading the Bulldogs to a 14th-place team finish.  She redshirted during the outdoor season.

The ThunderBowl features 6,500 seats, a synthetic turf field, a ten-lane all-weather track, throwing, jumping and pole vault areas, as well as a 27,000-square-foot field house, which includes a 4,300-square-foot strength and conditioning complex.  This year will mark the second consecutive year in which Colorado State-Pueblo has hosted the outdoor national championships.

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