Big Rapids, Mich. - Junior Tina Muir (St.
Albans, United Kingdom) and freshman Anna Rudd
(Leslie) of the Ferris State University women's cross country team
have been named to the United States Track and Field/Cross Country
Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II All-Midwest Region Team
following their performances at the 2009 NCAA-II Midwest Regional
Championships held last Saturday (Nov. 7) in Kenosha, Wis.
Muir and Rudd were among 15 individuals named to the all-region squad, which is based on final performances at the regional meet. In order to be named to the list, the individuals must have finished among the top 15 runners in the event. Regional champion Grand Valley State had seven runners on the team, second-place finisher Southern Indiana wound up with three, Ferris had two while Lewis, Hillsdale and Wayne State (Neb.) each had one runner place in the top 15 overall.
The Bulldog duo helped the nationally-ranked FSU women’s cross country team secure its second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championships berth by running to a third-place team finish in the regional meet.
Ferris placed third in the regional for the second-straight
campaign and will next compete in the NCAA-II Championships on
Saturday, Nov. 21, in Evansville, Ind. FSU totaled 103 points
in placing behind regional champion Grand Valley State (26 points)
and runner-up Southern Indiana (76). The Bulldogs finished six
points ahead of fourth-place Hillsdale (109) as the top three teams
advance to the national championships.
Muir clocked 21:33.2 in winning the region's individual title as she finished nearly 11 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Mary Ballinger of Southern Indiana. The women’s field included 134 runners. Muir’s victory represented her fifth individual title in as many races this season.
Rudd also placed in the top 15 as she was 13th (22:57.0) overall in her first regional appearance for the Bulldogs.
Last year, the Bulldog women’s third-place regional finish catapulted the squad to a 17th-place team finish at the 2008 NCAA-II Championships (11/22/08) held at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, Pa. The back-to-back third place regional finishes under head coach Steve Picucci represent the program's best showings since an identical third-place finish at the 1990 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championships and it marks the first time in school history the Bulldogs have qualified for the national championships two consecutive years.
This year also represents only the fourth time in history the Bulldog women's cross country team has qualified as a team for the national championships as last year’s berth was the program's first appearance since 1987. Ferris claimed Great Lakes Regional crowns in both 1981 and 1987 to advance to the NCAA-II Championships where they placed eighth and 11th overall, respectively.
Muir earned All-America honors at the national championships last season as the Bulldogs wrapped up one of their most successful seasons ever. She placed 12th overall in a field of 189 runners to become only the second All-American in Bulldog women’s cross country history and FSU’s highest finisher ever at the national championships.
The NCAA-II Championships will be hosted by Southern Indiana on the USI Cross Country Course in Evansville with the women’s race set to start at 12 p.m. (CT).