March 9, 2013

Rudd Follows Up National Title With Runner-Up Finish In 3000 Meters

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University junior standout Anna Rudd (Leslie) followed up her national championship effort in the 5,000 meters by earning runner-up honors in the 3,000 meters on the final day of action Saturday (March 9) at the NCAA Division II National Championships held in Birmingham, Ala.

Rudd followed up Friday's title effort in the 5,000 by finishing second of 18 competitors in the 3,000 meters at the national meet, which was held in conjunction with the 2013 Division II National Championships Festival inside the Birmingham CrossPlex.

On Saturday, Rudd clocked 9:42.87 and came in second to only event champion Alicia Nelson of Adams State (Colo.), who was less than four seconds ahead with a time of 9:38.92.  Her 18 total points from the two events in the meet enabled the Bulldogs to place 14th overall nationally in the team race.

Rudd previously etched her name in the record books on Friday night as she claimed the NCAA Division II National Championship in the women's 5,000 meters. She became only the second-ever women's track and field individual national champion by winning the indoor 5,000 at the national meet.

By virute of her national title effort on Friday, 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 was joined at the national championships by two other Bulldog student-athletes in Jessica Pilling and Ryan Chute. 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.

A senior, Chute 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.

By virtue of her first and second-place finishes in her two respective events at the national championships, Rudd also claimed All-America accolades in both events.

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