Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams will take part in the NCAA Division II National Championships this Saturday (Nov. 17) in Joplin, Mo.
Missouri Southern State University will host the national championships on the MSSU Cross Country Course, which is part of the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex on campus. The men's 10K race will begin at 11:30 a.m. (ET) followed by the women's 6K race at 12:30 p.m. (ET).
The Missouri Southern Cross Country Course has served as host to National Junior Olympic and Junior National Cross Country Championships, as well as a variety of college and high school meets. It has served as host to the Mid-America Intercolleigate Athletics Association Championships, NCAA regional championships and previously hosted the NCAA Division II Championships in 1999 and 2007.
Unique in its construction, the course has a 5K loop on grass that finishes just south of the starting line through a pitcuresque arch that has the words MSSU Cross Country going from pillar to pillar. The Missouri Southern Cross Country Course is the annual site of the Southern Stampede, one of the largest high school and college cross country meets in the midwest.
The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams both qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships as both squads ran to third-place performances at the 2012 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships on Nov. 3 in Kenosha, Wis.
The Bulldog women qualified for the national championships for the fifth consecutive year while the men's squad advanced to the national finals for the first time since the program was reinstated in 1999.
This year will represent only the seventh time in history the Bulldog women's cross country team has qualified as a team for the national championships as their appearances the last four years (2008-11) were the program's first since 1987.
Meanwhile, the men's squad has advanced for the first time since 1985 and it will be their eighth all-time Division II national berth. They also twice took part in the NCAA Division III Championships in the mid-1970's.
The men's team, which was ranked sixth in the region heading into the meet, climbed to third place to earn its national championships berth.
Complete coverage of the NCAA-II National Championships can be found at this link:
NCAA-II National Championships Website