Changing seasons

Ferris prepares for the 2014 outdoor season

Ferris State moves outside as both the men’s and women’s track and field teams prepare for the spring competition.

The 2013-14 indoor track season has come to a close following the NCAA National Championships on March 15. Now, both Ferris teams have flipped their focus to the outdoor season as they hope to send a few Bulldogs to nationals once again.

“As we switch to outdoor, we start fine tuning; we figure out where our weak points are in our races and work on that,” senior distance runner Connor LaRowe said. “We have the potential to do some damage come May.”

Four Bulldogs competed in the 2014 indoor nationals: senior Anna Rudd and the distance medley quartet of Rudd, junior Breeann Ovokaitys, red-shirt Zoey Hohmann, and senior Alyssa Osika. Rudd placed 14th in the 3k while the distance medley group placed seventh as Ferris closed out the indoor season on a relatively high note.

LaRowe is one of a group of veteran runners, both men and women, who are entering their final outdoor season in crimson and gold. Along with All-American seniors like Rudd and distance runner Samantha Johnson, LaRowe will help bolster a very strong distance team for Ferris State.

“A lot of us are seniors, so this is really our last chance and we want to end on a high note,” LaRowe said. “We also have a few younger kids who are already performing well, and they want to prove they can compete at the next level.”

Even though the Bulldogs will be changing scenery in the season switch, they will not be changing much of their regimen. Most runners will be fine tuning during the transition as field athletes wrap up their off-season training and focus on competing.

“Our workouts change a bit, but it’s pretty much the same idea,” Rudd, who nabbed her second straight All-American laurel this indoor season, said. “We have strengths and weaknesses in all events. In order to address those, everyone has to stay focused and put the work in.”

Despite the hard work and dedication put in during Ferris’ off-time, Mother Nature might once again make things interesting. Michigan weather is always a factor in any collegiate event, and this spring will be no exception. With the outdoor season fast approaching, the athletes will keep an eye on the sky in hopes of a dry track.

“I think mentally the winter really tested us, but they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” junior Spencer Gerber, said. “If the snow doesn’t clear up soon, the early season track meets will be interesting, if not cancelled.”

The Bulldogs will head to Raleigh, NC on March 28 to compete in the “Raleigh Relays” at North Carolina State University.