The Ferris State men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams kicked off their 2013 season with multiple impressive individual performances at the Central Michigan Open last weekend.
The invitational, held Jan. 11, was a non-scoring team event which gave the athletes a chance to compete for individual accolades.
The Bulldogs almost swept the podium board in the women’s one mile run, as senior Anna Rudd won the event with a time of 5:08, six seconds faster than any other athlete in the event. Junior Samantha Johnson secured third place with a time of 5:20. Right behind her was junior Breeann Ovokaitys and Jordan Best to mark fourth and fifth place finishes, respectively.
Rudd followed the event by also winning the 3000m run with a time of 10:02.
A pair of sophomores contributed to the team’s performance as Shea Van Klompenberg won the women’s 400m run (1:01), and Gabby Baur took seventh place (1:07).
On the men’s side, senior Ryan Chute took second place in the one mile run (4:21), narrowly defeated by Ethan Lievense, a sophomore from Central Michigan, by one second. Chute’s latest run was only five seconds slower than his time of 4:17 at last year’s Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament where Chute took ninth place.
Similarly to Rudd, Chute added another notable performance in the 3000m run. He placed second with a time of 8:58.
In the men’s 400m, Ferris secured places five though eight with junior Brian Murphy taking fifth place in 53.75, freshman Austin Syrek sixth at 54.25, and sophomore Kyle Garner finished in seventh place at 55.24. Ferris junior Thomas Lyons rounded out the Bulldogs’ performance with an eighth place finish in 55.71 seconds.
In the field events, both the men and women had an impressive showing, with junior Jessica Pilling winning the women’s weight throw. Ferris sophomore thrower Ryan Stankey made a shot put throw which placed third in the event.
As a team at last year’s GLIAC championship, the women placed ninth out of 11 teams, and the men placed 11th. Positive showings by underclassmen at last weekend’s meet, such as Stankey’s performance, bolstered with experienced runners such as Chute and Rudd, are signs of significant improvement going forward.
The Bulldogs will next compete at the Mike Lints Laker Open hosted by Grand Valley State University Jan. 18.