Annual Home Event To Be Held At Katke Golf Course In Big Rapids

Mikinzie Stuart
Senior runner Mikinzie Stuart and her Ferris State teammates will have an opportunity to run on their home course in Friday's Bulldog Invitational
The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams will host the annual Bulldog Invitational this Friday, Sept. 19, at FSU's Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids, Mich.

The women's collegiate 5,000-meter race is set to begin at 4 p.m. (EDT) and will be followed by the men's collegiate 8,000-meter event at approximately 4:30 p.m. (EDT). Two high school races will also be a part of the invitational schedule with the prep girls 5,000 meters set for a 5:15 p.m. (EDT) start proceeded by the boys 5,000 meters at 5:45 p.m. (EDT). The invitational is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

In addition to Ferris State, the collegiate invitational field will include a variety of student-athletes from both local schools and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)-member institutions. The collegiate field will include Ferris, Northwood, Findlay, Lewis (Ill.), Tiffin, Hillsdale, Lansing Community College, Davenport, Mott Community College, Schoolcraft, Grace Bible College, Kirtland Community College, Jackson Community College and Wayne Community College.

Among the local high school teams competing will be Big Rapids, Cadillac, McBain, Big Rapids Crossroads Charter Academy, Mt. Pleasant, Beal City, Ludington, Tri-County and Chippewa Hills.

This year (2008) marks the 33rd-straight (34th overall) running of the Bulldog Invitational. Either a men's or women's collegiate event has been held each year since 1976.

The first men's race was held in 1971 before being discontinued and restarted in 1976. Ferris, which did not participate in men's cross country from 1994-98, has claimed two team titles. The Bulldogs placed second in the men's field each of the last two years (2006 & 2007).

The women's invitational has been held every year since the program began in 1980. Friday's run will be the 29th consecutive women's race. The Ferris women have won nine team championships, including five of the last eight years. The Bulldogs won their third consecutive meet title in 2004 then finished third in 2005 before earning runner-up honors in 2006. FSU reclaimed the women's team championship in 2007 as five runners finished among the top 15 participants in the field.

Katke Golf Course, which opened in 1974, recently played host to the 2003 GLIAC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships along with the 2005 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championships and the 2006 Michigan Intercollegiate Championships. The Bulldogs will also host the 2008 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships later this fall (Nov. 8) at Katke Golf Course.

A university-owned 18-hole golf course situated on the western flank of the Ferris State campus, Katke Golf Course serves as the host site of all home Bulldog cross country along with menís and womenís golf events. The course is named after Mr. and Mrs. Marvin L. Katke, whose generous donation influenced campus development and the initial phase of the golf course. Katke, a friend of Ferris and a Mecosta County native, was vice president for manufacturing of the Ford Motor Company and a 1967 recipient of an honorary degree from FSU.

The Ferris State men's and women's cross country teams are guided by former Bulldog standout and current interim head coach Steve Picucci. The Bulldog women are currently ranked 19th nationally in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II Rankings along with third in the Midwest Region.

Click Here For Bulldog Invitational History PDF

Click Here For Katke Golf Course Information

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