Shaping up

The Bulldogs have heard Coach Steve Picucci’s plea for improvement with the results beginning to show as FSU athletes set personal records at Grand Valley State in the Mike Lints Open.

Ferris visited GVSU on Jan. 21 for the second consecutive week to take a shot at the Lakers indoor course once again. FSU athletes participated in the non-scoring open against athletes from schools that included GVSU, Calvin, Toledo, Aquinas and others.

Leading the way for the Lady Bulldogs was sophomore Alyssa Osika with an eighth-place finish on the mile course. Also pacing the women’s team were sophomore Zoey Hohmann with her fifth-place finish in the 400-meter race, along with sophomore Anna Rudd’s sixth-place finish in the 3000-meter event.

“We’re starting to show signs of improvement and overall I feel we’re starting to head in the right direction,” said Picucci. “We’ll keep picking away at it and hope for major breakthroughs.”

Freshman Jessica Pilling took fifth place in the weight throw event. In her last meet in the Bob Eubanks Open at GVSU, Pilling reached a NCAA Division II National Provisional qualifying mark.

“Pilling has been working extremely hard and she’s very dedicated to her sport,” said Picucci.

Senior Justin Price said he puts in extra work most days so he can get ahead of the competition. The hard work he has put in helped him reach a fifth-place finish in the 400m race and a 10th-place finish in the 200m run for the Bulldog men.

“One thing I am impressed by with this team is the upperclassmen,” said Hohmann. “Even though they are always people to look up to, their hard work and leadership is something to admire.”

For the men, sophomore Ryan Chute has achieved higher personal records by a large margin off of his prior personal achievements going into this season. Chutes’ personal records and others setting better personal records on the team have impressed Picucci and Price.

“These first few meets show runners where they are at and how far or close they are to reaching their season goals,” said Price.

The Bulldogs will head to the Division II team challenge at Findlay, Ohio on Feb. 4-5. The Division II challenge will be the Bulldogs’ first scored meet of the season. Picucci said he would choose the athletes to participate in the event based on performance during practice. According to Picucci, Ferris will likely face off against Division II schools mostly from or around the Midwest Region. n