Athletics

TWO FERRIS WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY RUNNERS NAMED ALL-REGION

Tina Muir & Mikinzie Stuart Honored After FSU Qualifies For Nationals

ALL-REGION HONOREES
Tina Muir
Mikinzie Stuart
Ferris State's Tina Muir (top) and Mikinzie Stuart (bottom) both earned All-Region honors as FSU qualified for the NCAA-II Natioanl Championships
Sophomore Tina Muir (St. Albans, United Kingdom) and senior Mikinzie Stuart (Saginaw/Nouvel Catholic) of the Ferris State University women's cross country team have been named to the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II All-Midwest Region Team following their performances at the 2008 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships this past Saturday (Nov. 8) at FSU's Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids, Mich.

Muir and Stuart were among 15 individuals named to the all-region squad, which is based on final performances at the regional meet. In order to be named to the list, the individuals must have finished among the top 15 runners in the event. Regional champion Grand Valley State had six runners on the team, second-place finisher Wayne State wound up with three, Ferris had two while Lewis, Northwood, Southern Indiana and Wisconsin-Parkside each had one runner place in the top 15 overall.

Muir finished fifth at the regional championships on the 6K course in a time of 21:56.8 as the Bulldog women's cross country team earned third place with 111 points and qualified for the NCAA-II National Championships for only the third time in school history and first time since 1987. Stuart placed 12th overall (22:41.6) in the field of 132 runners as FSU narrowly edged Southern Indiana by two points for the final team qualifying berth.

The regional event, which was hosted by Ferris State, drew nearly 300 competitors and included men's and women's teams from more than 20 institutions. The top four teams in the men's division along with top three women's teams plus the top two individuals not associated with one of the qualifying teams earned bids to the 28th annual NCAA Division II Championships. The women's 6K national championship race is slated for 1:15 p.m. (EST) on Nov. 22 and will take place at Cooper's Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, Pa. The Bulldogs are guided by interim head coach and former Bulldog men's standout Steve Picucci.

This year's third place regional effort was the program's best showing since an identical third-place finish at the 1990 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championships. It represents only the third time in history the Bulldog women's cross country team has qualified as a team for the national championships and will be the program's first appearance since 1987. Ferris claimed Great Lakes Regional crowns in both 1981 and 1987 to advance to the NCAA-II Championships where they placed eighth and 11th overall, respectively.

Former FSU All-American Jenny Irwin was the most recent Bulldog to compete individually at the national championships and became the first female women's cross country All-American in Bulldog history with a 20th-place finish in 2005 at Pomona, Calif. Her performance also marked the highest finish ever for a FSU women's performer at the Division II Women's Cross Country Championships.

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