Oakland Continues to Develop into One of the League's Premier Programs

The emergence of a strong core of underclassmen helped lead the way for the Oakland women’s cross country team in 2006.  With three freshmen among its top five runners, Oakland finished third in the Mid-Continent Conference championship, improving from last year’s fourth place finish.  Two members of Golden Grizzlies also took home individual honors at the Mid-Con meet in Kansas City, Missouri as freshman Sara Lieblien’s (Lake Orion, Mich.) 16th place finish earned her the Newcomer of the Year award and senior Laura Fisher (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) earned second team All-Conference honors for the third straight year, placing 11th overall.

Freshmen Janelle Lindman (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Kayla Doan (Ortonville, Mich.), and Lieblien, along with sophomore Katie Reilly (Oakland, Mich.), combined with seniors Fisher and Dayna Cline to lead the Golden Grizzlies to a solid season including a third place finish at the Central Collegiate Championships.

Freshman Sara Lieblein earned Newcomer of the Year honors after a 16th place finish at the Mid-Con Championships.

Another freshman, Erica D’Angelo (Clinton Twp, Mich.), whose season was cut short due to injury, led Oakland with a second place finish at the Golden Grizzly Open, as the Golden Grizzlies put seven runners under 20:00.

Oakland had one of its best outings of the year with a third place finish at the Michigan State Invitational where Cline finished 13th overall to lead the Golden Grizzlies.  Fisher, Reilly, Doan, Lieblien, Lindman, and sophomore Stephanie Huber (Sterling Heights, Mich.) rounded out the top seven, as Oakland finished with 92 points behind Michigan State (19) and Western Michigan (74).

Facing a tough field of competition, Oakland finished 12th overall at the Notre Dame Invitational. Fisher led the way for the first time in the season, as Oakland’s top five runners finished just 26 seconds apart from one another.   

In October, Oakland continued to run strong, placing 10th overall at the Falcon Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio, where the Golden Grizzlies put all seven runners in the top 100 of the field. Freshman Renee Baril (Utica, Mich.), sophomore Leslie Schachinger (Clawson, Mich.) and Huber rounded out the Grizzly squad.   

At the Mid-Con Championships, Oakland placed third behind Oral Roberts and Valparaiso.  Despite the muddy 6K course, Oakland managed to place their top five runners under the 24:00 minute mark.  Fisher led the way followed by Lieblien, Doan, Cline, Lindman, Reilly, and Schachinger.  

The Golden Grizzlies closed out the season at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Bowling Green, finishing 26th in the 30-team field.  Fisher was OU’s top runner, placing 109th overall on the sloppy 6K course.   Lindman logged her top finish of the season amongst her teammates, placing second on the squad and 137th overall.  Doan, Lieblein, Cline, Schachinger and Huber were also scoring runners for OU.

With a solid core of underclassmen returning to the Golden Grizzlies next season with a year’s experience under their belts and talented group of incoming freshman, the cross country team looks to improve its finishes at large invitationals as well as its overall place at the Mid-Con and Regional meets.

Oakland University 2007. All rights reserved.

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