Despite being pushed to the bottom of preseason rankings, Ferris State’s men’s cross country team is working their way back to the top.
The Bulldogs have been preparing for the Midwest Regional Championships to prove themselves as better than their label.
“We are in the same exact position that we were in last year,” head coach Steve Picucci said. “I believe in our group and it does not matter what they say on the paper. It all matters what happens on that day, and I think we have a good chance of fighting for one of those top four spots.
Picucci has selected some of his best men to compete this weekend for the top four slots to move on to the NCAA Championships in upcoming weeks.
“We decided to bring senior Alex Bladecki, senior Brandon Cushman, junior Spencer Gerber, senior David Silversmith, senior Bill King, sophomore Lucas Copi and junior Andrew Harper,” Picucci said. “Those are the seven runners we picked for next weekend based off of their performances so far.”
During the Midwest Regional Championship, there will be seven to eight competitive teams fighting for the top four spots.
“I would have to say Grand Valley State and University of Southern Indiana are going to be some of our top competitors because they are both ranked within the top ten in the country,” Bladecki said.
Ferris made it a goal to solve some problems from last year and improve their stamina this year to reach their goal.
“We want to be in the top four because the top four move on to the next round as a team,” Picucci said. “We did it last year and that was the first time since the 80s. So we are hoping to do it again this year.”
“From the beginning of the season, our main goal has been to return to the national meet,” Silversmith said. “That is what we are intending to do this weekend.”
For these athletes to achieve their goal, they’ll have to build upon the hard work they’ve displayed this season.
“We have all been keeping up on our studying so there is less stress,” Bladecki said. “We will probably do a climax workout on Tuesday so we can get our pain tolerance up so we do not blow it on Saturday.”
The Bulldogs have had many individual accomplishments throughout their 2013 season and look to keep building on everything they have accomplished on Saturday, Nov. 9, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“It is going to be a dog fight this year,” King said. “Good thing we are Bulldogs!”