Track and field breaks records

After two days of grueling
competition, the Ferris track and field team put on a strong showing at the 2023 GLIAC Indoor Championship.

With the Saturday events coming to a close, the Bulldogs returned to Saginaw Valley State to close out the championship on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, an impressive display of grit and hard work led to a culmination of personal bests, podium finishes and new names being put into the history books.

At the conclusion of the final event, it was Grand Valley who took both the men’s and women’s team championships. Ferris found themselves at fifth overall for the men with 43 points, and the women came in seventh with 23 points overall. The finish for the men is the most points that the team has achieved since 1993, where they recorded 87 points. This is the fourth time in the last five seasons that the women placed seventh overall.

The best individual performance of the weekend came from the 3,000 meter run on the final day of action. Donis Harris ran a 8:22.11 to claim the individual championship. Additionally, he set a new school record the day before in the 5,000 meters, clocking in a 14:27.43 to place fourth overall and earning an NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark.

In the 60 meters, Taariik Brett placed third overall with a time of 6.96 seconds, earning one of the Bulldogs’ three podium finishes from the weekend. Bryce George finished seventh in the shotput (14.75m), Aaron Pierce leaped his way into sixth in the long jump at 6.42m and Kyle Droulliard’s participation in the weight throw earned him a fifth place finish (16.34m).

In the distance categories, Noah Griffith ran a 4:18.05 to place seventh in the mile. Just behind him was Dan Hardesty who ran a 4:18.95. Andrew Shafley took seventh place in the 800 meter dash with a time of 1:55.14 and in the 3,000 meters Brandon Wirth earned an 11th overall finish with a time of 8:50.92.

In relays, the distance medley squad of Griffith, Shafley, Hardesty and Lucas Vanda just missed the podium with a time of 10:22.45. The 4×400 meter race brought a sixth place (3:30.44) finish to Vandam, Shafley, Ethan Hamilton and Josiah Florey. The men’s performance from the weekend is an improvement from last year, where they placed sixth overall.

The women’s squad started strong on Saturday in the high jump. Claudia Wilkinson raised the bar to 5-3.75 to earn a second place finish in the event and the only podium finish for the women.

The field section saw competitive showings from multiple Bulldogs. Emma Stephayn was seventh overall in the weight throw (16.36m), and Rebecca Marvin was four spots after her at 11th (13.31m). Marvin also placed eighth in the shot put with an 11.74 meter toss.

Head coach Jared Kelsh was proud of all his athletes for their performances.

In the 800 meters, Danae Feldpausch placed fifth with a time of 2:15.56, missing her mark from the tune up meet just a week before. Daisy Englund also participated in the 800 meters and came in ninth (5:13.46). Sydney Kubiak and Melanea Strauss competed in the 5,000 meters for the Bulldogs, finishing 11th (18:16.96) and 12th (18:27.85) respectively.

The relays closed out the competition for the women with the team of Feldspauch, Englund, Makayla Roberts and Abigail Winkle who placed fifth in the 4×400 (4:03.43). The distance medley relay of nearly an identical squad of Feldspauch, Englund, Winkle and Farrell finished with a time of 12:15.74.

The Bulldogs will return with the outdoor season on March 31. 

Brandon Wirth is both an athlete on the track and field team and a sports reporter for the Torch. He did not contribute to the reporting of this article.