FSU Performs Well At Annual Home Invite

Ryan Chute (left) and Tina Muir (right) paced the Bulldogs on Friday (Photos by Rob Bentley)
Ryan Chute (left) and Tina Muir (right) paced the Bulldogs on Friday (Photos by Rob Bentley)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams took advantage of the home course as they hosted the annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational on Friday (Sept. 17) at FSU's Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids.

The non-scoring collegiate field included competitors from schools such as FSU, Northwood, Davenport and Kirtland Community College.  Additionally, both high school boys and girls races were ran and involved several area schools.

While no official team scores were kept, the Bulldog women dominated the field in the 5K women's race.  FSU claimed the top nine spots overall and had 12 of the top 13 finishers.

FSU senior Tina Muir picked up right where she left off last season by winning the women's individual title in a time of 18:21.14 on the 5K course.  She was followed by sophomore teammate Anna Rudd, who clocked 18:53.78 in the field of 28 runners.

Bulldog freshman Samantha Johnson placed third (19:08.44) with sophomroe Alyssa Osika fourth (19:11.96) and sophomore Shelby Janutol coming in fifth

(19:16.24).  Freshman Brittany Anderson wound up sixth (19:53.38) followed by sophomore Jordan McGuire in seventh (19:55.31) and sophomore Felicia Peacock in eighth (20:02.61).  Freshman Breeann Ovokaitys took nine place overall (20:09.92) before Northwood's Lauren Gagnon finally ended the contingent of Bulldog runners by placing 10th.

Overall, the Bulldogs had 13 individuals compete in the women's competition and all of them placed among the top 15 in the race.

Ferris also performed well in the men's 8K competition as four FSU runners were among the top seven overall and six placed among the top 11 in the field.

The Bulldog men were paced by sophomore Ryan Chute, who finished third (26:56.32) in the 38-runner race.  The men's field was won by Northwood's Michael Beard in a time of 26:34.40 overall.

FSU sophomore David Silversmith placed fourth (27:06.51) with sophomore Alex Bladecki coming in sixth (27:27.77) and sophomore Andrew Campbell taking seventh place (27:36.76).  Ferris redshirt freshman William King added a 10th-place effort (27:53.84) and sophomore Michael Schulte placed 11th (27:56.27).

A total of 12 attached FSU runners competed in Friday's race.

Big Rapids High School won the boys 5K team title with 36 points and edged local rival Chippewa Hills by a single point as the Warriors netted 37 points. McBain placed third in the prep boys division with 56 points.  BRHS' Clark Ruiz was the boys individual winner in a time of 17:10.39.

Meanwhile, Megan O'Neil of Chippewa Hills won the girls 5K individual title in a time of 20 minutes flat (20:00.00) as the Warriors also took the girls team championship with 29 points.  Big Rapids finished second (44) with Beal City placing third (75) and McBain fourth (92) in the girls competition.

This year (2010) marked the 35th-straight (36th overall) running of the Bulldog Invitational and either a men's or women's collegiate event has been held each year since 1976.

The event was renamed last year in honor of former coach Ray Helsing, who guided the Bulldog cross country along with track and field programs from 1968-82. Helsing was inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 and tutored more All-Americans than any coach in FSU history.  He helped produce 20 All-Americans in cross country and track from 1968-82 and was best known for founding and coaching Ferris cross country, leading his teams to a 77-17 dual meet mark and four Great Lakes Conference titles.

The Ferris State men's and women's cross country teams next return to action at the Great Louisville Cross Country Classic on Saturday, Oct. 2, in Louisville, Ky.  The event will take place on the same course where both the 2010 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championships and the NCAA-II National Championships will be held later this season.

Please visit this link for complete meet results:
Official Meet Results