Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's cross country team placed eighth at the NCAA Division II National Championships for the second-straight year on Saturday (Nov. 19) in Spokane, Wash. The performance matches the Bulldogs' highest finish in school history.
The Bulldogs tallied 220 points in the team race, which was won by Augustana (S.D.) with 75 points. Western State (Colo.) placed second with 79 points and Grand Valley State was third with 104 points.
The Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the Spokane Regional Sports Commission co-hosted the national championships at Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane.
Senior Tina Muir led the Bulldogs in her last collegiate cross country race by finishing a personal-best sixth overall in the field in a time of 21:28.6 to earn All-America accolades.
Meanwhile, junior Anna Rudd took 26th place (22:08.8), junior Alyssa Osika came in 54th (23:03.1), sophomore Brittany Anderson was 62nd (23:17.3), junior Felicia Slate placed 72nd (23:27.2), junior Shelby Janutol came in 80th (23:36.5) and freshman Kristie LeSage (23:52.3) finished 95th overall for the Bulldogs.
FSU previously had secured its national championships berth by running to a runner-up team finish in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships held Nov. 5 in Big Rapids at Katke Golf Course. The Bulldogs advanced to the national championships for the fourth consecutive campaign.
This year represented only the sixth time in history the Bulldog women's cross country team had qualified as a team for the national championships as their last three berths (2008-10) were the program's first appearances since 1987.
Muir's sixth-place national meet finish this year marks the highest individual finish ever by a Bulldog women's cross country runner in school history. She earned All-America honors for the fourth consecutive campaign to become the only four-time Bulldog women's cross country All-American in school history. She previously took 11th place overall at the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championships.
Ferris State's eighth-place performance in the national team race this year matches the Bulldogs' eighth-place finish at the 1981 National Championships and its showing in 2010.
This year's second-place regional finish under fourth-year head coach Steve Picucci also matched the program's best showing a year ago since claiming the Great Lakes Regional crown in 1987. It is one of the top three regional efforts in school history in addition to the Bulldogs' Great Lakes Regional victory in 1981.