With no competitions this past week for Ferris, the focus has turned to preparing for “The Big Meet” at Grand Valley State University in Allendale.
The Bulldogs have had three weeks of competition to start the season before an off week of preparation for the upcoming meet scheduled Feb. 8-9.
“This past week we had a good week of workouts, a little bit of positive energy to prepare the team for this week’s competition,” Ferris senior runner Michael Schulte said. “They have one of the nicest facilities in the country and it gives us more opportunities to run well and prepare for the GLIAC Championships.”
The Big Meet boasted over 1,000 individual competitors in last year’s competition. There will be no shortage of talent to size up against the Bulldogs.
“There was so much competition in this event last year; it really gave us an idea of where we were at,” Ferris junior runner Brittany Anderson said. “It would really show a lot about our team if we are able to place in the top three.”
The Bulldogs will also be attending the GVSU Tune Up event Feb. 15 before the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships the following weekend on Feb. 22-23.
The two meets before the championship meet give the Bulldogs a perfect opportunity for three consecutive weekends to get familiar and comfortable with the facilities they’ll be running in for the conference awards.
“A little bit of familiarity on this track will help us; it will really help the team get comfortable with the facilities,” Ferris Head Coach Steve Piccuci said.
The Bulldog runners have been off to a successful start to this year’s slate by competing in three non-scoring contests where a few Bulldogs, including junior runner Samantha Johnson, achieved their personal best times. Junior thrower Jessica Pilling set a new school record with a throw of 18.34 meters this season.
“For our goals it’s for everyone to go for their personal bests and make sure we are competing to the highest level we can,” Schulte said.
The Big Meet will be the third time so far this year that the Bulldogs travel to Allendale. An interesting few weeks await the Bulldog runners, as they prepare to face some of the stiffest competition in the area.
The GLIAC Championships remain to be the biggest challenge left for the Bulldogs, and the goals are set to keep a high standard as a team.
“The goal is to have as many runners as we can finish in the top eight [during the GLIAC Championships] so they can achieve all conference and for everyone to focus on themselves and try to focus on their personal bests,” Piccuci said.