The Ferris State men’s and women’s track and field team are ready to run into Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) at the end of the month to get their season rolling.
Bulldog track and field officially kicked off their 2016 portion of the season on Friday, Jan. 15 when they made the trip to Allendale to take on a number of Division I programs as well as GLIAC schools in the GVSU Bob Eubanks Open. With that meet under their belt, the team will be heading to Saginaw Valley State on Saturday, Jan. 30 to compete in the SVSU Cardinal Open.
The team, now beginning its second full year under head coach Jared Kelsh, has acclimated well to the change of leadership and enjoy the new management according to junior thrower Rachel Long.
“Kelsh brings a different atmosphere to the team that we didn’t have before,” Long said. “He definitely motivates our runners before and during our meets and he is actually interested in how the throwers are competing.”
Long led her team in the weight throw at the Grand Valley meet coming in 17th place.
Junior distance runner Logan Hammer said the team is very excited to test their limits this season.
“We have a very young team with very high potential,” Hammer said. “After getting one race in, we know what we need to improve on. Ferris has never been a team to go to the GLIAC conference meet and win everything.”
Hammer, who led all Bulldogs in the mile with 15th place at the GVSU Open, is confident that his teammates are capable of bringing in some wins to the organization. Hammer said that even though the Bulldog track and field team doesn’t receive a lot of recruits or publicity, what they do have is a team of very dedicated athletes.
“People may not realize it, but because we are one of the only schools in the conference without an indoor track facility, we have to run every run and every workout outside,” Hammer said. “If it’s 10 below zero and snowing, the Ferris team is outside, working out, running in the roads, between cars, in the slush, with frozen mud up to our chest. That’s what makes this team so amazing to be a part of.”
The dedication shown by the Dawgs is a good sign of things to come for Ferris State track and field who hope to build off of a good showing at Grand Valley.
Long summed up the team’s goals when she said, “I think a lot of us are looking forward to making a name for Ferris State track not just as individuals, but as a team.”
The team will head to SVSU for the Cardinal open on Saturday, Jan. 30 to continue a season that they hope makes a statement for Bulldog track and field.