After winning its first
Mid-Continent Conference title in 2002, Oakland’s men’s 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, Oakland’s
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.
Frezza’s 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