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USTFCCCA Regional Awards Release (PDF)
Big Rapids, Mich. - Junior Tina Muir (St. Albans, United Kingdom) of the Ferris State University women's cross country team has been recognized as the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II Midwest Region Women's "Athlete of the Year" following her championship performance in the 2009 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships held last Saturday (Nov. 7) in Kenosha, Wis.
Muir previously was named to the USTFCCCA all-region squad, which is based on final performances at the regional meet where she led the nationally-ranked FSU women’s cross country team to 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 this
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
advanced 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. Previously, she was chosen as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Runner of the Year for the 2009 season.
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).