Frezza Leads Way To A Strong 2003 Campaign

After winning its first Mid-Continent Conference title in 2002, Oaklandís menís cross country team had high expectations coming into the 2003 season, with almost all of its runners returning from that championship squad. While the team fell just short of taking its second straight conference title, Oaklandís strong overall season showed that the program has built itself into one of the best in the Mid-Con.

Junior Adam Frezza won one individual title and was one of five OU runners to earn All-Mid-Con honors.

Junior Adam Frezza was once again the top runner for the Golden Grizzlies and he started his season in fine style, placing in the top-three in each of the first three meets of the season, culminating in an individual title at the Mel Brodt Invitational at Bowling Green in the first 8K race of the season. Frezzaís time of 25:08 topped the field by 18 seconds and led Oakland to a second place finish at the meet, just eight points behind Cincinnati. Jason Bruscha and Luke Williams each placed in the top-10 as OU had its best showing ever at the meet.

Frezza recorded another top-10 finish at the Spartan Invitational, lowering his 8K time to 24:58 to finish eighth. Frezza then lowered his best mark again at the Bronco Invitational, turning in a 24:53, a time that would finish the season as the third-best in the Mid-Con.

At the Mid-Con Championships the Golden Grizzlies knew that it would be a battle between themselves as Southern Utah for the top spot. In the end Oakland captured three of the top-10 slots, but the Thunderbirds had a bit too much depth in this battle, taking three of the top five positions to down the Golden Grizzlies by 19 points to claim the title.

Oakland still managed to land five of its harriers on the all-conference lists, with Frezza and Bruscha claiming first team honors with their third and fourth place finishes. John Cook (8th), Williams (12th) and Brandon Fisk (13th) all earned second team honors for OU. Frezza was also named the Mid-Con Athlete of the Week three times during the season.

Oakland moved on after the Mid-Con meet to close out its season at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional where the Golden Grizzlies placed 18th out of 32 teams. Bruscha led Oakland on the 10K course, finishing his career as a Golden Grizzly by running a PR for the distance, a 32:40.9 that placed him 90th in the field of 217 runners.

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