Oakland Maintains Its Position Among League's Elite Programs

Oakland’s men’s cross country team continued to maintain its status as one of the premier teams in the Mid-Continent Conference, finishing second at the Mid-Con Championships and placing three runners on the All-Conference team.

OU commenced the season by hosting the Golden Grizzly Open and placing seven runners in the top ten.  Junior Jason Young (Shelby Twp, Mich.) was the top finisher for Oakland, edging out freshman Zack Jones (Tustin, Mich.) by half a second for second place in the four mile race.

Next on the slate was the Tommy Titan Invitational, another four mile race.  Oakland finished seventh with a team score of 184, led by a pair of freshmen as Matt Lehmann (Troy, Mich.) placed 29th overall and Jason Clement (Gobles, Mich.) followed in 36th.  Junior Tim Rowland (Oxford, Mich.), sophomore Mario Palomino (West Plains, Mo.) and freshman Andrew Barc (Madison Heights, Mich.) rounded out the scoring runners for the Golden Grizzlies.

Freshman Zack Jones finished either first or second among OU runners in five of the six meets he ran in 2006.  Jones was a second team All-Conference selection, placing 10th overall at the Mid-Con Championships.

Oakland performed well at Michigan State’s Spartan Invitational, placing fourth with a team score of 118.  Young and Jones were the top finishers for OU once again, placing 17th and 20th respectively.  Sophomore Andrew Lawrick (Baroda, Mich.), sophomore Kenny Wassus (Monroe, Mich.) and freshman Ross Solanskey (Berkley, Mich.) were also among the field of scoring runners.

The Golden Grizzlies compiled a team score of 367 to finish 14th at the Notre Dame Invitational.  Jones earned his first top finish among his teammates, placing 38th overall.  OU’s other scoring runners in the meet were Young, Wassus, Solanskey and Lawrick.

Oakland runners split time between two races at the Michigan Intercollegiate, finishing 10th overall in the 4K race and 11th in the 8K.  Wassus was OU’s top finisher in the 4K, placing 25th overall.  Young and sophomores Jason Bigelow (Clio, Mich.) and Pat Sarver (Chesterfield, Mich.) also scored in the 4K.  Freshman Brett Busuttil (Algonac, Mich.) led a field of five scoring runners in the 8K race, finishing 49th overall.  Freshman Brian Buntman (Green Bay, Wis.), Lehmann, and freshmen Mike Criger (Chesterfield, Mich.) and Mike Craze (Troy, Mich.) rounded out the 8K field for the Golden Grizzlies.

OU had its best showing of the year to date when it finished third overall at Bowling Green State University’s Falcon Invitational.  Jones posted his first top ten finish in a scored meet, placing eighth overall and first among his teammates.  Young, Wassus, Bigelow and Sarver were Oakland’s other scoring runners.

As a final tune up prior to the Mid-Con Championships, the Golden Grizzlies ran in the Eastern Michigan Cross Country Classic, a 10K meet that was not team scored.  Lawrick led a field of seven runners, finishing ninth overall.  Clement, Criger, Rowland, Craze, Lehmann and Harkins rounded out the field for OU.

Oakland sought to defend its title at the Mid-Con Championships but fell just short, coming in second.  Young earned first team All-Conference honors, placing seventh overall to lead OU.  Lawrick and Jones were named to the All-Conference second team, finishing eighth and 10th respectively.  It was the second time that Young and Lawrick had earned all-conference mention as both were members of the second team in 2005.  Wassus and Solanskey also scored for the Golden Grizzlies in the meet.

OU wrapped up the season at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, finishing 19th in the 31 team field.  Jones led the Golden Grizzlies, placing 80th overall.  Lawrick, Young, Busuttil and Solanskey also finished among the scoring runners while Bigelow and Sarver were the displacers.

Oakland University 2007. All rights reserved.

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