Big Rapids, Mich. - For the second consecutive year, the Ferris State University women's cross country/track and field program has wrapped up the year listed among the nation's top 10 teams in the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year standings.
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year standings are based on the combined team finishes in each of the NCAA's cross country/track and field sports in a given academic year.
The Bulldogs totaled 86.5 points in the final standings while placing ninth in the country for the 2012-13 campaign under head coach Steve Picucci. A year ago, in 2011-12, the Bulldogs finished fifth in the program of the year race.
This season, Grand Valley State won the Division II Program of the Year Award with 8.5 points followed by Adams State (Colo.) with 14 points and Alaska-Anchorage in third with 24 points. The University of Mary (N.D.) was fourth with 34 points and Western State (Colo.) placed fifth with 39 points. Seattle Pacific came in sixth (60) followed by Augstana (62.5), Shippensburg (83.5), FSU (86.5) and Winona State (89) in the top 10 overall.
The NCAA Division II Program of the Year Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution's finish at the NCAA Division II Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team's finish at each NCAA Division II Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.
Ferris State earned its points based on a 14th-place finish in women's indoor track and field along with an 22nd-place national effort in cross country and a 48th-place performance in outdoor track and field.
In the fall, the Bulldog women's cross country team made its fifth consecutive national championship appearance after placing third in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. Then, in the winter season, FSU took 14th place at the national indoor track and field championship after Anna Rudd won a national title in the 5,000 meters and earned runner-up accolades in the 3,000 meters. Finally, during the outdoor campaign, FSU's Jessica Pilling came away with an All-America finish in the hammer throw with a sixth-place effort at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships.