September 21, 2011

Ferris Women's CC Vaults To Third In Nation

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's cross country team has vaulted to third in the nation this week in the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II National Poll announced on Wednesday (Sept. 21).

The Bulldogs, under head coach Steve Picucci, leaped from seventh in the USTFCCCA Division II Preseason Poll released in August to third after two strong showings to open the 2011 campaign.  

Traditional power Western State (Colo.) is the top-ranked team in the country followed by Chico State (Calif.) and FSU in the top three overall.  Defending national champion and Ferris rival Grand Valley State comes in fourth with another longtime power in Adams State (Colo.) ranked fifth.

In addition to moving up to third in the nation, the Bulldogs also leaped past GVSU in the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Rankings and are now the top-ranked team in the region.  The Lakers follow FSU as the region's second-ranked team with Southern Indiana third, Bellarmine (Ky.) in fourth and Saginaw Valley State rounding out the regional top five.

Ferris State and Grand Valley State are the only teams from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) listed among the nation's top 25 teams, but are joined in the rankings by two other regional schools in Southern Indiana (20th) and Bellarmine (22nd).

The Bulldog women's cross country team opened the season by placing four runners among the top seven finishers overall in the non-scoring Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational (Sept. 10) hosted by FSU at Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids.  The showing included a first-place effort from three-time senior All-American Tina Muir (St. Albans, U.K.), who clocked 17:50.38 in winning the 83-runner field in the 5K event.

FSU followed up the effort with a strong performance in the non-scoring Michigan State Spartan Invitational last Friday (Sept. 16) at Forest Akers East Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich.  The event featured runners from Division I schools such as MSU, Michigan and Miami (Ohio) in addition to GVSU and other Division II and smaller schools.  Muir again led the way by placing third overall in a competitive field with a time of 20:43 on the 6K course that featured 231 participants.

Last year (2010), the Bulldogs finished eighth overall in the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championships (12/4) in Louisville, Ky.  The performance tied for the program's highest national meet finish in school history.  It came after a runner-up finish in the 2010 NCAA-II Midwest Regional (11/20) also held in Louisville.  The 2010 season marked FSU's third consecutive trip to the national championships.

Individually, Muir placed 11th at nationals a year ago and it marked the highest individual finish ever by a Bulldog women's cross country runner in school history.  She is one of only two women's cross country All-Americans at FSU and the only three-time honoree.

Ferris State will next take part in the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday, Oct. 1, in Louisville.

In addition to the women's team's rise in the rankings, the Bulldog men's cross country team also climbed from 10th place to sixth in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Rankings.

Below are the complete national and regional rankings:

Women's Cross Country National Team Rankings

2011 Week #1, September 21

Rank Institution Region Conference Location
Last Week
1 Western State Central RMAC Gunnison, Colo.
1
2 Chico State West CCAA Chico, Calif.
3
3 Ferris State Midwest GLIAC Big Rapids, Mich.
7
4 Grand Valley State Midwest GLIAC Allendale, Mich.
2
5 Adams State Central RMAC Alamosa, Colo.
4
6 Alaska Anchorage West GNAC Anchorage, Alaska
5
7 Augustana (S.D.) Central NSIC Sioux Falls, S.D.
6
8 Shippensburg Atlantic PSAC Shippensburg, Pa.
8
9 Queens (N.C.) Southeast Conf. Carolinas Charlotte, N.C.
9
10 Minnesota Duluth Central NSIC Duluth, Minn.
10
11 U-Mary Central NSIC Bismarck, N.D.
11
12 Edinboro Atlantic PSAC Edinboro, Pa.
14
13 Midwestern State South Central Lone Star Wichita Falls, Texas
12
14 Stonehill East Northeast-10 Easton, Mass.
16
15 Tampa South Sunshine Tampa, Florida
13
16 Missouri Southern South Central MIAA Joplin, Mo.
17
17 Lock Haven Atlantic PSAC Lock Haven, Pa.
NR
18 Truman State South Central MIAA Kirksville, Mo.
18
19 Cal Poly Pomona West CCAA Pomona, Calif.
24
20 Southern Indiana Midwest GLVC Evansville, Ind.
NR
21 Western Washington West GNAC Bellingham, Wash.
23
22 Bellarmine Midwest GLVC Louisville, Ky.
21
23 Pittsburg State South Central MIAA Pittsburg, Kan.
NR
24 Nova Southeastern South Sunshine Davie, Fla.
25
25 San Francisco State West CCAA San Francisco, Calif.
NR
Dropped Out: No. 15 Hillsdale, No. 19 Millersville, No. 20 Harding, No. 22 East Stroudsburg

 

MIDWEST Region - WOMEN
Rank School Location Conference
Last Week
1 Ferris State Big Rapids, Mich. GLIAC
2
2 Grand Valley State Allendale, Mich. GLIAC
1
3 Southern Indiana Evansville, Ind. GLVC
5
4 Bellarmine Louisville, Ky. GLVC
4
5 Saginaw Valley State Bay City, Mich. GLIAC
8
6 Ashland Ashland, Ohio GLIAC
6
7 Hillsdale Hillsdale, Mich. GLIAC
3
8 UW-Parkside Kenosha, Wis. GLVC
9
9 Northern Kentucky Highland Heights, Ky. GLVC
NR
10 Tiffin Tiffin, Ohio GLIAC
7

 

MIDWEST Region - MEN
Rank School Location Conference
Last Week
1 Grand Valley State Allendale, Mich. GLIAC
1
2 Southern Indiana Evansville, Ind. GLVC
2
3 Bellarmine Louisville, Ky. GLVC
3
4 Ashland Ashland, Ohio GLIAC
4
5 Hillsdale Hillsdale, Mich. GLIAC
8
6 Ferris State Big Rapids, Mich. GLIAC
10
7 Northern Kentucky Highland Heights, Ky. GLVC
9
8 UW-Parkside Kenosha, Wis. GLVC
5
9 Lewis Romeoville, Ill. GLVC
7
10 Drury Springfield, Mo. GLVC
6