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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University senior standout Anna Rudd (Leslie) earned All-America honors as the Bulldog women's track and field squad opened action in the 2014 NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships on Thursday (May 22) in Allendale, Mich.
Rudd placed fifth overall in the 10,000 meters to close the opening-day events as she clocked 35:31.33 in the event at the Grand Valley State Track & Field Stadium. The race was her first of two events in the national championships as she will also take part in the 5,000 meters on Saturday (May 24) on the final day.
In the 10,000 meters, Rudd ran as part of the lead pack throughout the race and then sprinted to fifth place down the stretch. The race was won by Lauren Martin in a time of 35:25.33 overall.
Rudd was one of two Bulldogs to open competition on day one with junior Breeann Ovokaitys (Cedar Springs) finishing 18th overall in the prelims of the 1,500 meters. She was timed in 4:40.18 overall as FSU's first competitor on the day, but did not advance to the finals in her first appearace at the national outdoor championships.
Ferris State will have a single competitor on Friday (May 23) as day two action continues at the national championships. Senior Alyssa Osika (Waterford/Mott) was added to the national meet field earlier this week after an injury scratch was made and will compete in the 800 meters. The national meet is being 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 race in the prelims of the 800 meters starting at 6:15 p.m. (ET). The finals for those who advance are set for Saturday beginning at 7:05 p.m. Meanwhile, Rudd is next slated to race in the 5,000 meters on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
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.
All three Bulldogs competing in the national championships 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. Previously, Rudd was a national champion for the Bulldogs during the 2013 indoor season in the 5,000 meters.
A total of 754 participants, 377 men and 377 women, are competing in the championships. Portions of the championships are being streamed live on www.NCAA.com.
For more information on the NCAA-II Championships, please visit this link: