Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University junior runner Anna Rudd (Leslie) put her name in the record books on Friday (March 8) night as she claimed the NCAA Division II National Championship in the women's 5,000 meters at the Division II Championships held in Birmingham, Ala.
Rudd became only the second-ever women's track and field individual national champion by winning the indoor 5,000 at the national meet taking place as part of the 2013 Division II National Championships Festival held inside the Birmingham CrossPlex.
By virute of her national title effort, Rudd joins former FSU long jumper Amy Woodman as the only women's NCAA national track and field champions in school history. Woodman claimed the indoor long jump individual crown in 2008 to become the first Bulldog female to win a national title at either the indoor or outdoor national meets.
In addition to Woodman, the only other previous individuals to claim national track and field titles for the Bulldogs were current Bulldog Athletics Hall of Famers Corey Bouyer and Paul Cochran. Bouyer claimed the NAIA Outdoor title in the 440-yard hurdles in 1970 while Cochran won a combined three national titles in the throwing events at the 1990 indoor and outdoor championships.
Rudd won the women's 5,000 meters on Friday night as she clocked a personal-best time of 16:28.18 to outdistance second place finisher Ruth Keino of Alaska-Anchorage (16:36.27) by more than eight seconds. A total of 18 competitors took part in the event at the national championships. Her time also narrowly eclipsed the previous school record of 16:28.71 set a year ago by 11-time All-America standout Tina Muir. She had held the seventh-fastest seed time heading into nationals prior to winning the event.
Last year, Rudd claimed All-America honors at the 2012 outdoor national championships with a fifth-place performance in the 10,000 meters. Earlier this season, she led the Bulldogs as she claimed two individual event titles at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Indoor Championships held in Allendale (Feb. 23-24) en route to being tabbed as both the Women's Track Athlete of the Meet along with being voted as the league's nominee for the regional track athlete of the year honor.
Rudd will also compete again on Saturday (March 9) to wrap up the three-day meet in the 3,000 meters, which is scheduled for a 5:40 p.m. (ET) start. She won the 3,000 meters at the GLIAC Championships two weeks ago when she set a new meet record with a time of 9:37.06. The time surpassed the NCAA Division II National Provisional qualifying standard and was a personal-best along with the second-best individual event performance in school history.
In addition to Rudd, Bulldog men's senior runner Ryan Chute also competed in day two action on Friday at the national championships and came in 12th overall in the mile run with a time of 4;14.37 in the event. He did not advance to the finals as only the top nine runners moved on to Saturday's event finals.
Junior thrower Jessica Pilling represented the Bulldogs in the weight throw on Thursday (March 7) during first day action and just missed reaching the final round. She placed 10th overall in the event with a top mark of 58'4 3/4" and was less than six inches away from ranking among the top nine performers who advanced to the finals in the 18-thrower event.
Behind Rudd's 10 points in winning the 5,000 meters, the Bulldog women's indoor team climbed into eighth place overall in the national team standings on Saturday.