Three athletes from Ferris State were invited to attend the NCAA Division II National Championship meet in Birmingham, Ala.
Junior long distance runner Anna Rudd became the second women’s track and field member in Ferris history to earn a national championship title, March 8, after completing a 5000 meter run in 16:28.18 on a 200 meter banked course. She outran 18 other runners in the event’s field.
Had the track not been a banked 200 meter course, Rudd would have surpassed the record time, 16:28.71, held by former Ferris distance runner and 11-time All-American Tina Muir in a five kilometer event on a flat 200 meter track.
“The pace was quick for the first mile. But the second mile slowed a little. That gave me time to relax and make a move for the third mile,” Rudd said. “I was mostly just surprised that I won.”
Rudd also clocked a 9:42.8 on March 9 for runner-up in the three kilometer race, which was four seconds behind the race’s national champion. Rudd hoped to finish in fourth place of each event in which she ran, and did not expect the eventual outcome of the meet.
Her 18 points gave Ferris’ women’s program a 14th-place finish among 53 schools to place.
Rudd earned All-American laurels for the fourth time in her career at Ferris at the meet.
Senior distance runner Ryan Chute finished in 12th overall in the men’s mile March 8. He needed to place in the top nine of the event to move onto finals qualification.
According to Rudd, Chute was not satisfied with the finish though intends to improve during the outdoor season.
Junior thrower Jessica Pilling completed her event one place shy of the final round. She finished in 10th overall, six inches short of placing in the top nine and advancing to the final round of the championship meet.
Ferris’ outdoor season will begin March 29-30 at the Raleigh Relays in Raliegh (N.C.). After the relay event, Ferris’ entire roster of participating outdoor athletes will compete in Ferris’ home invitational, the Bulldog Open, April 6.