Unexpected Finish

FSU upset several Division I schools en route to top-place finishes

by Published: Oct 6, 2011

With hours of hard work and miles of train­ing under their belts, the FSU men’s and women’s cross coun­try teams trav­elled to Louisville, Ky. with a thirst to prove them­selves in one of the biggest meets of the season.

The Bulldogs were pre­sented with an oppor­tu­nity to test them­selves against sev­eral NCAA Division I schools at the Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 1. Not allow­ing the level of com­pe­ti­tion to faze them, both the men’s and women’s team took sec­ond place fin­ishes home with them.

“I was not only impressed with our guys and how much we’ve improved but also the girls and how well they did,” junior run­ner Ryan Chute said. “Ferris State cross-country is being put back on the map with great coach­ing, lead­er­ship and work ethic.”

FSU now has two Louisville Slugger base­ball bats to show for their effort. The teams were awarded the bats by the meet spon­sor as tro­phies. FSU head coach Steve Picucci plans to have his ath­letes sign the bats before dis­play­ing them.

The women’s team, which is cur­rently ranked third in the NCAA Division II poll, placed sec­ond only to the University of Michigan in the women’s Gold divi­sion. FSU placed ahead of the University of Mississippi, Purdue and South Florida, respec­tively. In total, thirty teams com­peted against each other at the meet.

“I think every­thing just kind of came together really well on that day,” senior run­ner Tina Muir said. “We were able to show every­one that we deserve the recog­ni­tion we’re get­ting right now.”

Four Bulldog women emerged within the top 50 run­ners from the field of 262 com­peti­tors. Muir fin­ished sec­ond over­all in the 5k women’s meet with a time of 16:59.01. Sophomore Samantha Johnson fol­lowed Muir for eighth place (17:13.83).

“Both teams have been work­ing really hard. With our sport, hard work is not imme­di­ately rewarded, so they deserved this suc­cess,” Picucci said.

Junior Anna Rudd snagged 31st place with junior Alyssa Osika com­ing in 49th for the Bulldogs.

Similar to the women’s results, the men had four run­ners fin­ish in the top 50 in a field of 285 runners.

Leading the Bulldogs in the 8k men’s Blue divi­sion race was Chute and junior Tyler Crossman. Chute fin­ished in 12th place with Crossman right behind him fin­ish­ing in 13th place.

“Having Tyler fin­ish with me was awe­some. He stepped up in a big way and we hugged after his fin­ish because our team has been through a lot and we worked so hard to get where we are,” Chute said.

Freshman Andrew Harper fin­ished 40th in 25:54.33 and fresh­man Spencer Gerber placed 50th with a time of 26:01.14.

Next up for FSU will be a road trip to University Park, Pa. to take part in the Penn State National meet Oct. 14.