The Bulldog cross country teams proved they are among the elite squads at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships in Midland Oct. 20.
The nationally seventh-ranked women’s cross country team entered the 16 team competition with high ambition and was able to achieve a second-place finish totaling 84 overall points. Top spot in the conference went to Grand Valley State.
Ferris junior Haleigh Przybylek said, “We all stepped up in the GLIAC Championships. We all knew what we needed to get to that next level and we all ran really well.”
Ferris junior Samantha Johnson was one of the stand-outs for the Bulldogs. She earned All GLIAC First Team honors after her fourth-place finish in the women’s 5k meet. Johnson finished 27.2 seconds behind first-place finisher Allyson Winchester of Grand Valley State University.
The top five teams in the Midwest Regional Championships, which will include teams from multiple conferences in the region, advance to the National Championships. Przybylek thinks Ferris State has a great opportunity in the future.
“We just need to keep improving and all stepping up like we have done before [to make it to Nationals],” Przybylek said.
Turning to the men’s races, Ferris’ runners were rewarded with a fourth-place finish from the 112 points the Bulldogs garnered in the 15 team contest.
“We all ran really well. We were shooting for second, but it was a really fast course and we all ran our fastest times ever,” Ferris junior David Silversmith said.
With a time of 24:57.1 in the 8k, senior Tyler Crossman led the way for the Bulldogs by earning an 18th-place finish. Crossman was 35 seconds off of the first place finisher. Out of the 103 runners in the field, eight of them finished within ten seconds of Crossman’s mark, which shows the competitiveness of the race.
Grand Valley State University took home first place on the men’s side followed by Malone University and Ashland University, who were the only squads to finish ahead of the Bulldogs.
“I believe we have an advantage heading into the Regionals because the way we train is by running 10k through hills and it is, in my opinion, that not all other teams train that way,” Silversmith said.
The runners for Ferris now have another big event on the horizon as the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championships will be held Nov. 3 in Kenosha, Wis. followed by the NCAA II National Championships on Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo.