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

Mikinzie Stuart
Junior 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. 21, 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 5:10 p.m. (EDT) start proceeded by the boys 5,000 meters at 5:40 p.m. (EDT). A combined 3,000-meter middle school boys and girls race will be the final event of the day starting at 6:10 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, Saginaw Valley State, Northwood, Lansing Community College, Davenport, Oakland Community College, Mott Community College, Concordia, Schoolcraft, Grace Bible College, Kirtland Community College, Jackson Community College and Glen Oaks Community College in addition to the Tortoise and Hare Running Club.

Among the local high school teams competing will be Big Rapids, Cadillac, McBain, Big Rapids Crossroads Charter Academy, Evart, Mt. Pleasant, West Michigan Lutheran, Chippewa Hills and Ludington. This year (2007) marks the 32nd-straight (33rd 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 last season (2006).

The women's invitational has been held every year since the program began in 1980. Friday's run will be the 28th consecutive women's race. The Ferris women have won eight team championships, including four of the last seven years. The Bulldogs won their third consecutive meet title in 2004 before finishing third in 2005 and earning runner-up honors in 2006.

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.

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.

This year's Bulldog Invitational represents the only competition at home for the Ferris cross country teams this campaign. Both Bulldog teams are coached by Jeff Kavalunas, who's in his 12th season at the FSU helm.

Click Here For Bulldog Invitational Information PDF

Click Here For Bulldog Invitational History PDF

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