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Ferris State Cross Country squads to host 48th Annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invite this Saturday

The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams will host the 48th annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational this Saturday, Sept. 9, at FSU's Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids.

The women's collegiate 5,000-meter race is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. (ET) and will be followed by the men's collegiate 8,000-meter event at approximately 10 a.m. (ET).

Two high school races will also be a part of the invitational schedule with the prep boys 5,000 meters set to start at 10:45 a.m. (ET) proceeded by the girls 5,000 meters at 11:15 a.m. (ET). The invitational is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

In addition to Ferris State, a number of conference and regional teams traditionally take part in the collegiate races in addition to unattached competitors. Several local high school teams will be part of the prep races.

The Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational was renamed in 2010 in honor of former coach Ray Helsing, who passed away in 2014. He guided the Bulldog cross country along with track and field programs from 1968-82. Helsing was inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 and tutored more All-Americans than any coach in FSU history. He helped produce 20 All-Americans in cross country and track from 1968-82 and was best known for founding and coaching Ferris cross country, leading his teams to a 77-17 dual meet mark and four Great Lakes Conference titles.

This year (2023) marks the 48th overall running of the Bulldog Invitational and either a men's or women's collegiate event had been held each year since 1976 prior to the 2020 cancellation due to COVID-19.

The first men's race was held in 1971 before being discontinued and restarted in 1976. Ferris did not participate in men's cross country from 1994-98. The women's invitational had been held every year since the program began in 1980 before the fall of 2020 and subsequent return in 2021, making this year the 43rd women's race in a 44-year span.

Katke Golf Course, which opened in 1974, has 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 also hosted the 2008 and 2011 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships at Katke Golf Course along with the 2016 GLIAC 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 men's and women's 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 local native Jared Kelsh, who begins his ninth campaign at the Bulldog helm. Saturday's meet will represent the first competition of the season for both FSU teams and give both teams their only opportunity to run on their home course this fall.

The Bulldog men's cross country team has qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships twice in the last decade after previously having not reached the final round since 1985. Meanwhile, the Bulldog women's team has qualified for the NCAA-II Nationals five times in the last 14 years heading into the 2023 campaign.

Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

White Cloud 9 @ Holton 5

White Cloud 0 @ Merrill 13 (6inn)

Clare 16 @ Chip Hills 7 (4inn)

Greenville 9 @ Chip Hills 9 (8inn)

Kent City 1 @ Whitehall 16 (4inn)

Fremont 3 @ Kent City 0

 

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 3 @ Big Rapids 9

Shepherd 12 @ Big Rapids 0 (5inn)

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 1

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 2

 

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills 7 @ Tri County 3

Chip Hills 3 @ Tri County 2 (5inn)

Lakeview 2 @ Morley Stanwood 8

Lakeview 5 @ Morley Stanwood 11

Kent City 5 @ Newaygo 10

Kent City 4 @ Newaygo 11

Grant 1 @ Reed City 2

Grant 7 @ Reed City 5

C Montcalm 13 @ White Cloud 2

C Montcalm 2 @ White Cloud 6

 

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Shelby @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

 

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

 

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CSAA Softball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

Grant 0 @ Ravenna 15 (3inn)

Tri County 0 @ Ravenna 10 (CH Forfeit)

Chip Hills 0 @ Clare 16

Chip Hills 0 @ Vestaburg 12

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 2 @ Big Rapids 12 (5inn)

Shepherd 9 @ Big Rapids 6 (8inn)

Newaygo 15 @ C Montcalm 11

Newaygo 1 @ C Montcalm 14 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ Vestaburg 16 (4inn)

Lakeivew 4 @ Vestaburg 10 (8inn)

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City 1 @ Newaygo 4

Kent City 0 @ Newaygo 11 (5inn)

Grant 1 @ Reed City 5

Grant 1 @ Reed City 16 (3inn)

C Montcalm @ White Cloud

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Greenville @ C Montcalm

Sparta @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

SATURDAY 4/20/24

Lakeview @Beaverton Tournament

Big Rapids @ TC West

CSAA Baseball Standings

1) Big Rapids: 2-0 | +31 -6 (+25)

2) Morley Stanwood: 2-1 | +24 -17 (+7)

3) Chippewa Hills: 2-1 | +22 -14 (+8)

4) Reed City: 2-1 | +17 -11 (+6)

5) Newaygo: 3-3 | +30 -24 (+6)

6) Central Montcalm: 3-3 | +22 -21 (+1)

7) Kent City: 2-2 | +32 -37 (-5)

8) Grant: 2-2 | +18 -12 (+6)

9) White Cloud: 1-1 | +8 -15 (-7)

10) Tri County: 0-3 | +11 -41 (-30)

11) Lakeview: 0-4 | +23 -41 (-18)

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