Pilling, Osika To Represent Bulldogs At NCAA Track Outdoor Nationals

Pilling, Osika To Represent Bulldogs At NCAA Track Outdoor Nationals

Official NCAA Release

Big Rapids, Mich. - A pair of Ferris State University women's track and field athletes have received official invitations to compete in the 2013 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships.

Senior Alyssa Osika (Waterford/Mott) along with junior Jessica Pilling (London, Ontario) will each compete at the national championships set for May 23-25 in Pueblo, Colo., at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Colorado State-Pueblo will serve as host of the championships.

The NCAA-II Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee announced the participants for this year's national meet on Tuesday. A total of 754 participants, 377 men and 377 women, will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the championships by reaching the automatic and provisional standards established for each event.

Osika qualifed to compete in the 800 meters and holds the 21st-fastest time entering the competition with a top performance of 2:11.96 this season. The prelims of the women's 800 meters will be held on Friday, May 24, at 8 p.m. (ET) with the finals set for Saturday (May 25) at 8:55 p.m. (ET).

Meanwhile, Pilling will take part in the hammer throw and heads into the national championships owning the sixth-best toss (57.21m) of 21 participants in the event.  The hammer throw takes place on the opening day of the national championships on Thursday (May 23) at 5:30 p.m. (ET).

On the men's side, Bulldog senior Ryan Chute narrowly missed making the field by less than a second in the 1,500 meters.

A year ago, Pilling took ninth place and narrowly missed earning All-America honors at the outdoor national championships in the hammer throw.  She was 10th at this year's indoor nationals in the weight throw. Meanwhile, Osika previously earned indoor track All-America accolades as a member of the school's distance medley relay team in 2012.

Earlier this year, Osika earned runner-up honors in the 800 meters at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships held May 1-3 in Ashland, Ohio.  Pilling took fifth place in the hammer throw at the league meet.

This season, at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Birmingham (Ala.), the Bulldogs' Anna Rudd (Leslie) claimed a national championship in the 5,000 meters and earned national runner-up honors in the 3,000 meters while leading the Bulldogs to a 14th-place team finish.  She redshirted during the outdoor season.

The ThunderBowl features 6,500 seats, a synthetic turf field, a ten-lane all-weather track, throwing, jumping and pole vault areas, as well as a 27,000-square-foot field house, which includes a 4,300-square-foot strength and conditioning complex.  This year will mark the second consecutive year in which Colorado State-Pueblo has hosted the outdoor national championships.