With the indoor track and field season drawing toward its end, a group of three veteran Ferris women look to lead the way in the race for a GLIAC Championship.
Looking through Ferris State’s track and field record book, a few names start to reoccur as you scan the school’s record times. The fact that a group of these record holders are running at the same time for the crimson and gold gives the Bulldogs arguably its best trio of runners in school history.
Senior runners Anna Rudd, Alyssa Osika and Samantha Johnson have all stamped their names in various top-five times throughout Ferris’ record marks. This season, the threesome has helped anchor the squad of women’s runners, with each looking to finish this track and field season on top.
“Overall, I think we have a strong group of runners with a lot of potential,” Rudd said. “I think Sam [Johnson] and I both work hard and try to set a good example for the rest of the team. I believe we have a chance to send a few girls to nationals and we have a good chance to score some points in the conference meet, too.”
Rudd, a three-time All-American in the 3,000 (2013) and the 5,000 (2012 and 2013), has teamed up with Osika (also an All-American in 2012) and Johnson to help lead Ferris’ talented group of female runners. With running athletics often considered individual sports, this trio sets an example of hard work and commitment as a team.
“It’s a common misconception about running because it is very team-oriented. On a daily basis we run together and are there for one another,” Johnson, who made NCAA Division II National Provisional Qualifying for the mile with a 4:54.70 mark, said. “As for being a leader, I go by the philosophy of leading by example.”
This season, Ferris’ track and field team boasts many young athletes across the board from running to throwing events. This has led this group of veteran Bulldogs setting the bar for younger and upcoming runners.
“They are really good leaders,” freshman Samantha Humphrey said. “They show us what it means to train hard and they helped us adjust to a new training schedule and routine.”
With the indoor season coming to an end and the GLIAC championships only 17 days away, Johnson, Osika and Rudd will be looking to make yet another mark in their conference.
“They are all really great and they’re doing great,” sophomore Shea Van Klompenberg said. “I hope for all of us to get personal records and for us to get places in most of our events at the GLIACs. And, it would be sweet to see some people go to nationals.”
The Bulldogs will next travel to Allendale for Grand Valley State’s “Big Meet” on Feb. 14.