Rudd continues to shine for FSU

BIG RAPIDS — Anna Rudd is a firm believer that you become a better runner as your body matures.

That certainly has been the case for the Ferris State junior, who claimed two individual event titles en route to being tabbed as both the Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet along with being voted as the league’s nominee for the regional track athlete of the year honor at the GLIAC Indoor Championships over the weekend in Allendale.

“I’ve always kind of doubted myself, but with getting older, you just start to run more,” she said. “I’ve always lacked leg speed. But with running more and just getting older and stronger, it’s kind of compensated for that.”

Rudd won the 3,000 meters on Sunday as she set a new meet record with a time of 9:37.06 in winning the field. The time surpassed the NCAA Division II National Provisional qualifying standard and was a personal-best along with the second-best individual event performance in school history.

OUT IN FRONT: Ferris State distance runner Anna Rudd recently claimed Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet at the GLIAC Indoor Championships. (Courtesy photo/FSU Photo Services)

Rudd also captured the conference championship in the 5,000 meters on Saturday as she was clocked in 16:42.95, which eclipsed the previous league meet record established by Lynsey Ardingo of Grand Valley State in 2010. It also was a national provisional qualification time and she won the event by nearly 25 seconds.  Her time in the 5,000 meters was also a personal-best and ranked as the second-fastest event performance in Bulldog history.

The progressions she’s been making as a runner this season are the result of a training regimen that’s been ratcheted up, Rudd said.

“I definitely run a lot — it seems like more and more every year,” she said. “Just getting older and stronger, you try to do the little things like body maintenance and lower body training — just taking it more seriously.”

Rudd estimated that she runs between 65 and 70 miles per week and has been working out at a higher level than ever as she heads into the 2013 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, which are set for March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala.

That work ethic is the result of both her coach Steve Picucci’s direction and the help of her teammates, which she hopes will lead her to All-American status.

“I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without Steve — he tells me what to do and I do it,” she said. “My teammates are what keep me going every day in practice. When I’m having a bad day, I know they’ll be there to pick me up.”

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