Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University standout Samantha Johnson headlines the list of three Bulldog cross country all-region selections as announced this week by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Johnson, who was the final National Athlete of the Week prior to regionals, added a Midwest Region title last weekend to earn Regional Athlete of the Year honors to her list of achievements this season.
The senior from Troy, Mich., crossed the line at the 6K regional course at Wisconsin-Parkside in 21:22 to defeat runner-up Jessica Janecke of Grand Valley State by 10 seconds and take the region title from 2012 champ Allyson Winchester of GVSU. The region title marked her third win in a row, including the GLIAC title, which she also surpassed Winchester to win.
By claiming Regional Athlete of the Year accolades, Johnson is the Bulldogs' third regional winner in the last five years, joining two-time award recipient Tina Muir (2009-10). The USTFCCCA All-Region awards are voted on by the Division's respective head coaches. Previously, Johnson also attained GLIAC Runner of the Year honors this campaign.
In addition to Johnson, the Bulldogs also had two other individuals tabbed to the all-region team. Senior Anna Rudd finished eighth at the regional championships to earn accolades as well on the women's side while senior David Silversmith was an all-region honoree for the men after placing 15th at the regional championships.
More than 390 Division II student-athletes were recognized this week as All-Region honorees by USTFCCCA following the weekend's NCAA regional championship meets. Those runners of USTFCCCA member schools who finished top-25 individually at one of the eight regional sites across the country earned the honor, 395 in total.
For the second consecutive year, the Ferris State men's cross country team advanced to the NCAA Division II National Championships by placing fourth overall in regional action last week. In addition, Johnson also advanced to nationals individually on the women's side after claiming the regional crown.
The 2013 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will take place Saturday, Nov. 23, in Spokane, Wash., at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex.
The Bulldog men's team will enter the national championships ranked 23rd in the country in the latest USTFCCCA Division II National Rankings.