Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and
women's track and field/cross country program recently received
several honors as part of the United States Track and Field/Cross
Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) postseason awards process
for the 2012-13 campaign.
The Bulldog women's track and field squad was among 92 teams who combined academic and athletic achievement to earn 2013 Division II All-Academic Team honors this past season. All teams earning the distinction must have compiled at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average. FSU posted a 3.02 team figure for the past term.
In addition, two student-athletes were honored as individual All-Academic recipients on a national scale. Junior standout Anna Rudd was chosen on the women's side while junior thrower Lucas Johnson earned recognition for the Bulldog men's program.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have reached a provisional or automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships in either the indoor or outdoor seasons.
The honor capped a successful year for Rudd, who recently was chosen as FSU's Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" recipient for her accomplishments. Rudd etched her name in the record books this season as she claimed the NCAA Division II Championship in the women's 5,000 meters during the national indoor meet held at the Birmingham (Ala.) CrossPlex March 7-9. She became only the second-ever women's track and field individual national champion in school history by winning the indoor 5,000 at the national meet.
In addition to winning the 5,000 meters at the indoor championships, she also finished as the runner-up in the 3,000 meters while claiming USTFCCCA Division II All-America honors in both events. For her efforts, Rudd was named to the USTFCCCA All-Midwest Region Team in three events (mile, 3,000 and 5,000) and also honored as this year's recipient of the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year honor for her accomplishments during the indoor campaign.
By virtue of her national title effort, Rudd joined former FSU long jumper Amy Woodman as the only women's NCAA national track and field champions in school history. Her personal-best winning time of 16:28.18 narrowly eclipsed the previous school record held by 11-time All-American Tina Muir. Her 18 total points from the two events in the meet also enabled the Bulldogs to place 14th overall nationally in the team race at indoor nationals.
This indoor season, she led the Bulldogs as she claimed two individual event titles at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Indoor Championships held in Allendale (Feb. 23-24) en route to being tabbed as both the Women's Track Athlete of the Meet along with being voted as the league's nominee for the regional track athlete of the year honor. Rudd ran a meet-record 16:42.95 over 5000 meters at the league indoor meet and also won a title at 3000 (9:37.06) meters before redshirting during the outdoor season.
Meanwhile, Johnson had a successful collegiate campaign in the weight events. He took part in 14 meets during the indoor and outdoor season combined while throwing the weight throw, discus and hammer throw. His figures included personal-best efforts of 39.78 meters (130'6") in the discus and 54.70 meters (179'5") in the hammer throw this past year. He reached a national provisional qualification standard with his effort in the hammer throw at the end of the season.
Both the Ferris State University men's and women's track and field/cross country programs are guided by head coach Steve Picucci. Recently, the women's program wrapped up the year as one of the nation's top 10 teams in the USTFCCCA Program of the Year standings for the second consecutive year.