Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams will compete in the 2017 NCAA Division II Midwest Region Cross Country Championships being held this Saturday (Nov. 4) at the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course in Cedarville, Ohio.
The Midwest Region consists of teams from the Great Lakes Valley Conference, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Around 32 teams and more than 200 student athletes are expected to compete in each race.
The women's 6K race will start at 10:30 a.m. (ET) with the men's 10K to follow at approximately 11:45 a.m. (ET).
The event will be hosted by Cedarville University and it marks the first NCAA regional event in any sport the Yellow Jackets have hosted since becoming active Division II members.
The top three teams from each race in the regional will advance to the NCAA II National Championships, which are Nov. 18 in Evansville, Ind. In addition to the qualifying teams, the top two individuals that are not on a qualifying team will advance to the national meet. Qualifying individuals also include any competitors in the top five that are not on a qualifying team.
A total of nine states will be represented at the meet, including schools from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Four years ago, the Bulldog men's team qualified for nationals for the second consecutive year on the heels of its 2012 appearance, which was the program's first since 1985. FSU went on to place 10th at the NCAA Division II National Championships after advancing out of the regional. The Bulldogs placed seventh in regional action in 2014.
Meanwhile, the women's team has qualified for the NCAA-II Nationals five times in the last nine years following strong performances at the Midwest Regional.
The Ferris State men's and women's cross country teams are guided this fall by former Bulldog standout and local native Jared Kelsh.
Most recently, the Bulldogs competed at the GLIAC Championships on Oct. 21 in Marquette and had four all-conference honorees as the men took fourth place and the women raced to a fifth-place league finish.