Going the distance

FSU women use strong distance performance en route to third-place finish in Ohio

The Ferris State University men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed in the Division II Team Challenge Meet Thursday and Friday.

The Bulldog women’s team tied for third place overall and scored 64 points in a field of 17 teams.

The event, hosted by University of Findlay, featured teams not only from the GLIAC, but also Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and more.

“It was one of the bigger meets we’ve been to,” head coach Steve Picucci said. “Overall, the competition was pretty tough.”

FSU was led by a strong performance in the distance events. Picucci attributed the success to a foundation of solid cross country runners.

Freshman Samantha Johnson took first in the mile run (5:05.96) and freshman Brittany Anderson won the 3,000 meters (10:08.86).

The Bulldogs had four of the top six finishers in the mile. Sophomore Alyssa Osika finished second, senior Paige Onweller placed fifth and sophomore Shelby Janutol came in sixth.

In the 3,000 meters, FSU had four runners among the top eight. Sophomore Anna Rudd was third, freshman Breeann Ovokaitys was fifth and sophomore Felicia Slate was eighth.

The Bulldog women won the distance medley (12:07.00) and earned an NCAA-II National Provisional Qualification time. Team members are Onweller, Osika, Johnson and sophomore Zoey Hohmann.

In addition, Hohmann captured third place in the 400 meters (58.40). Also placing for the Bulldogs was the 4×400 relay-team who finished seventh (4:16.20).

Picucci said he’s impressed with the team’s underclassmen runners.

“Hopefully, it will lead to good things in the outdoor season,” he said.

On the men’s side, junior Alex Best took seventh in the 3,000 meters (8:59.89). Also, the men’s distance medley relay-team placed second (10:33.61).

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams will return to competition Feb. 11-12 for the Grand Valley State University “Big Meet” in Allendale.

“It’s one of the biggest indoor meets this side of the country,” Picucci said. “We’re hoping for some good performances and expecting some really great competition.” n