Tuesday, November 5, 2002
Cross country team captures Mid-Con crown
Oakland University’s men’s cross country team won its first ever Mid-Continent Conference Championship Nov. 2, upsetting favorite Southern Utah by eight points. Oakland’s win broke a five-year lock on the title by Southern Utah. The OU women’s team also had a strong showing, finishing in a tie for fourth.
Both OU teams were paced by second place finishes from sophomores Paul Kulisek (Wonder Lake, Ill.) and Melissa Nasers (Battle Creek, Mich.). OU head coach Paul Rice was named the men’s coach of the year, while freshman Sarah Drouillard (Lake Orion, Mich.) was named Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year. Rice’s coach of the year award was his second straight in the conference, while Drouillard becomes the second OU women’s runner to be named Newcomer of the Year, joining Kristie Kieffer (Sterling Heights, Mich.) who won the award in 1999.
The men’s team placed all of its scoring runners (five) in the top 10. Kulisek finished just five seconds behind the men’s individual winner, Bill Hibdon of UMKC, in a time of 25:17. Adam Frezza (Oxford, Mich.) was next for OU, covering the 8K course in 25:31 to finish fifth. The Golden Grizzlies then took the eighth, ninth, and 10th place finishes to clinch the win. John Cook (St. Clair, Mich.) was eighth in 25:52, followed by Ryan Bissell (Vassar, Mich.) with a 25:57 finish. Close on his heels was Jason Bruscha (Sterling Heights, Mich.) who crossed the line just one second behind. For the women, the Golden Grizzlies placed two in the top 10. Nasers finished the 6K course in 22:22, with Sarah Kane (Sterling Heights, Mich.) took ninth place in 23:05. Drouillard was next for the Golden Grizzlies and was the top freshman finisher in the race overall, taking home 16th in 23:41. Andrea Sutter (Sterling Heights, Mich.) and Kin Schultz (Vermilion, Ohio) rounded out the scoring for OU, finishing 34th (24:36) and 36th (24:47), respectively.
First team All-Mid-Con accolades for the men went to Kulisek and Frezza, while Cook, Bissell, Bruscha and Brandon Fisk (Shelby Township, Mich.) were named to the second team. Nasers earned first team All-Mid-Con honors for the women while Kane was named to the second team.