Indoor showdown

FSU men’s and women’s indoor track teams competed in the GLIAC Championships

The Ferris State University men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams participated in the 2011 GLIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday in University Center, Mich.

On the women’s side, the Bulldogs finished ninth overall. The team registered 27 points in the two-day competition.

Strong distance runners continued to pace FSU.

Freshman Samantha Johnson captured fifth in the mile run while reaching an NCAA Division II National Provisional Qualification mark. She was also honored with the league’s “Freshman of the Year” award.

According to Ferris head coach Steve Picucci, each GLIAC coach nominated an athlete for the award prior to voting.

“She was shocked by the award,” he said. “She had no idea that I even nominated her.”

Freshman Brittany Anderson placed sixth while sophomore Anna Rudd took seventh in the 5,000 meters.

Earlier this season, Picucci commended sophomore Zoey Hohmann’s hard work during offseason training. Clearly, it paid off. Hohmann captured FSU’s top finish as she was runner-up in the 400 meters.

The Bulldogs earned third overall in the distance medley relay as well as another NCAA Division II National Provisional Qualification mark. FSU also took eighth place in the 4×400-meter relay.

The event, hosted by Saginaw Valley State University, was won by Grand Valley State University for both the men’s and women’s races.

For the men’s competition, the Bulldogs finished tenth overall with five points.

The team was led by sophomore Ryan Chute’s fourth place finish in the mile run.

For most athletes, the indoor season is over. However, according to Picucci, athletes who have reached National Provisional Qualification mark are eligible for selection to compete in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“From top to bottom, we improved this entire season,” Picucci said. “But our team’s greatest accomplishment is the three individual athletes plus one relay who hit provisional qualification marks.”

Picucci said he won’t officially know until Tuesday if any Bulldog athletes will be competing since the performance list has not yet been released.

“It’s a great accomplishment just to qualify,” Picucci said. n