Ferris State's Alyssa Osika Added As National Meet Competitor For NCAA-II Championships This Week

Ferris State's Alyssa Osika Added As National Meet Competitor For NCAA-II Championships This Week

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's track and field program will have an additional representative competing in the 2014 NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships when action gets underway later this week in Allendale, Mich.

Ferris State senior Alyssa Osika (Waterford/Mott) was added to the national meet field on Tuesday after an injury scratch was made and will now compete in the 800 meters. The 2014 NCAA-II Championships will take place Thursday thru Saturday (May 22-24) in Allendale on the campus of Grand Valley State University at the GVSU Track and Field Stadium. The national meet will be hosted by GVSU along with the West Michigan Sports Commission. 

Osika, a provisional national meet qualifier who narrowly missed being one of the original selections for the national championships, will join a pair of other Ferris State student-athletes previously selected to take part in this week's event. Ferris State senior standout Anna Rudd (Leslie) will compete in a pair of events as she's been chosen to run in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Meanwhile, FSU junior Breeann Ovokaitys (Cedar Springs) was picked to race in the 1,500 meters at the national championships.

Student-athletes qualified for the championships by reaching the automatic and provisional standards established for each event with the final selected participants chosen based on their performance marks.

Rudd's top performance of 16:42.34 in the 5,000 meters ranks as the ninth-best of 22 slated competitors at the Division II level this season while her seed time of 35:41.64 is the 14th-fastest of the 21 individuals chosen to run in the 10,000 meters at the national meet. Ovokaitys holds the 21st-best clocking of 4:33.16 among 21 slated participants in the 1,500 meters with Osika's seed time of 2:11.28 ranked 25th in the 800 meters.

Ovokaitys will open the meet for the Bulldogs on Thursday, May 22, in the preliminary round of the 1,500 meters at 5:25 p.m. (ET). Rudd will race for the first time later in the evening on the opening day at 8:50 p.m. (ET) in the 10,000 meters. Neither will compete on day two Friday, but both could be in action again as the meet closes on Saturday, May 24. The finals of the 1,500 meters are at 5:45 p.m. (ET) with Rudd also slated to race in the 5,000 meters at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

Meanwhile, Osika will run in the first of three preliminary qualifying heats in the 800 meters on Friday, May 23, starting at 6:15 p.m. (ET). The finals for those who advance are set for Saturday beginning at 7:05 p.m.

All three individuals previously earned All-America honors at the Division II National Indoor Championships held in March (14-15) in Winston-Salem, N.C. Rudd placed seventh overall in the 5K at the indoor nationals in a time of 17:14.19 to earn All-America honors for the second-straight year in the event. Both Ovokaitys and Osika were members of FSU's distance medley relay team that claimed All-America honors with a seventh-place national meet finish this winter.

The NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee announced the participants for the 2014 NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships. A total of 754 participants, 377 men and 377 women, will compete in the championships. Portions of the championships will be streamed live on www.NCAA.com.

For more information on the NCAA-II Championships, please visit this link:

Below is a complete schedule for FSU's student-athletes at the national meet:

Thursday (May 22)
Breeann Ovokaitys - 1500 meters (prelims) at 5:25 p.m.
Anna Rudd - 10,000 meters (finals) at 8:50 p.m.

Friday (May 23)
Alyssa Osika - 800 meters (prelims) at 6:15 p.m.

Saturday (May 24)
Breeann Ovokaitys - 1500 meters (finals for those who advance) at 5:45 p.m.
Alyssa Osika - 800 meters (finals for those who advance) at 7:05 p.m.
Anna Rudd - 5000 meters (finals) at 8:30 p.m.