Bulldogs slowed in the Spartan marsh

Bulldog cross country team bows down at soggy Spartan Invitational
Bulldog cross country team bows down at soggy Spartan Invitational Courtesy photo
Soggy conditions seem to be the norm for the Ferris State Cross Country team as they competed at the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing on Friday.
Both the men’s and women’s teams competed hard but it wasn’t enough to overcome the stiff competition.
“It was definitely pretty wet, but it wasn’t too bad. We didn’t have anybody with particularly fast times. We didn’t run like we would’ve liked to, but right now we are training with a high volume. That’s how we train. We get used to a high work load in the beginning of the season and then focus more on speed towards the end,” said senior Ryan Wickstram.
For the women, it was a day dominated by the home team as Michigan State took six of the top 20 spots. Of these top 20 runners, a pair of MSU juniors, Rachele Schulist and Alexis Weirsma, took first and second respectively.
Although none of the Ferris women cracked the top 40, they had some notable runners in the top 100 in an event with over 300. Senior Emily Haynes was the top dog in the Ferris pack taking 43rd overall with a time of 23:19. She was followed by a group of Bulldogs with junior Samantha Humphrey taking 87th (24:08) and the tandem of sophomore Jessica Delaney (91st, 24:15) and junior Rachael McDonald (92nd, 24:16) finishing within a second of each other.
For the men, Grand Valley State saw five runners placing in the top 20 leading to their dominant showing.
The Ferris State men fared similarly to their female counterparts. No one could crack the top 40, but a developing story line arose from the marsh in East Lansing. Sophomore Trevor Holowaty (72nd, 26:44) has placed in the top two on his team in both of the invitationals this year including a first place finish at the Ray Helsing Invitational in Big Rapids.
Trevor was a top running prospect prior to last season and the young man seems to be coming of age.
“Trevor had a rough season last year, unlucky really. He had quite a few lingering injuries. He was one of the big perspective athletes coming on to the team and this year he’s finally healthy so we’re seeing what we expected last year,” said junior Logan Hammer.
Hammer (47th, 26:15) led the way for the Bulldogs, showing his leadership with his consistent running, placing once again at or near the top of the Bulldogs’ runners.
Another pair of Bulldogs placing within a second of each other were sophomore Clayton Springer (133rd, 27:32) and freshman Casey Neal (135th, 27:33). With two sets of Ferris State runners placing within a second of each other, the culture that exists on the team was put on display. It turns out that even Bulldogs run in packs.
“As a team, our goal is to close the gaps between each other and it’s always such a positive thing when we’re able to work together like that. We strive to be our best and when we have our teammates by our sides it makes it easier to run faster. We do it for each other and that’s what makes our team so amazing,” said junior Alyssa Cummings.
Hammer added, “We try to stay in packs. The less places between our 1st and fifth runners, the less points we have taken away.”
The Bulldogs look to improve their times at the Augustana College Invitational this Friday.
“There should be a lot better times next week. It’s a fast course and we’re improving,” said Ryan Wickstram.
The start time for this event is to be announced.