Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's track and field teams officially opened the 2013 outdoor campaign at the annual Raleigh Relays hosted by North Carolina State University on Friday and Saturday (March 29-30) at the Paul H. Herr Track in Raleigh, N.C.
A total of approximately 3,000 athletes from a meet-record 84 NCAA programs around the country competed in the two-day spectacle.
The weather for the final day of competition was practically flawless, consisting of partly-cloudy skies, lots of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-to-high 60's for the duration of the day.
On the women's side, FSU's Jessica Pilling placed eighth overall in the hammer throw (167-10) and came in 32nd overall in the shot put (39-0.50) along with 45th in the discus (111-6).
Alyssa Osika captured 14th place in section IV of the women's 1,500 meters (4:41.60) while Brittany Anderson was 21st in section IV of the women's 5,000 meters (18:23.08) in leading the Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, in the men's competition, Ferris State's Blake Garver placed third overall in sections 5-9 of the men's 1,5000 meters (4:01.68) with Connor LaRowe fifth (4:01.95) and Alex Bladecki eighth (4:02.88) in the same sections.
The Bulldogs' Ryan Chute placed 12th in section II of the men's 1,500 meters (3:56.01) and was the highest non-Division I runner in the race.
Lucas Copi took 17th overall in section II of the men's 10,000 meters (32:18.22) while Andrew Harper finished 19th in section III of the men's 5,000 meters (14:56.66).
Charlton Craig came in 24th in section V of the men's 5,000 meters (16:40.32) and Ryan Stankey took 32nd place in the shot put (45-0.25).
Lucas Johnson placed 17th in the hammer throw (163-5) and was 39th in the discus (123-10). Also, JJ Vandenberg came in 38th overall in the hammer throw (135-6).
The Bulldog men's quartet of Chute, LaRowe, Garver and Bladecki also finished 16th in the 4x800-meter relay (7:54.06) while the women's foursome of Osika, Breeann Ovokaitys, Kayla Smith and Erika Roe was 16th as well (9:59.93) in their field.
Ferris State returns to action next Saturday, April 6, as the Bulldogs are slated to host the annual Bulldog Open at FSU's Top Taggart Field. The event begins at 11 a.m. (ET) and represents the Bulldogs' lone home action of the 2013 campaign.