Cross gains win after win

Katie LaDuke , Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Oct. 28, both Oakland men’s and women’s cross country teams took titles at the Horizon League Championships at Katke-Cousins Golf Course. This is the second title in three years for the men’s team. The women’s squad made Oakland history with their third consecutive win, and they became just the third Horizon League to do so. Aside from the teams’ wins, head coach Paul Rice was also named 2017 Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year.

“At the beginning of the year, we have big goals, big plans to win that championship every year,”   Rice said in an interview with the Horizon League Network.

For the men’s team, Bryce Stroede led the Golden Grizzlies as he finished the 8K in second place with a time of 25:12.3. Stroede was less than a second behind Northern Kentucky’s Andrew Schille.

“It’s tough running four laps sometimes, especially over on the other side,” Stroede said in an interview with Run Michigan. “We have a nice large hill we have to go up four times. You just try not to think about what you have coming next.”

Following close behind Stroede for majority of the race, brothers Jacob Bowman (25:15.7) and Andrew Bowman (25:23.6) finished third and fourth, respectively. The trio earned All-League First Team honors.

“For pretty much the entire race, we stuck together and worked together right until the end,” Jacob Bowman said in his interview with Run Michigan. “We really didn’t even space out toward the end that much.”

Making it into the top 15 for the men to earn All-League Second Team honors, Brad Mallory finished 10th with Connor Wuori at 14th.

Over on the women’s side, Oakland’s very own Maggie Schneider was the individual overall winner and was named Athlete of the Year. Even as people told her to take the beginning slow, Schneider finished the 6K at 21:53.2.

“I didn’t want to do that,” Schneider said in her interview with the Horizon League Network. “I was feeling good, so I just ran my own race.”

Rounding out the top three for the women, Rachel Levy came in second at 22:03.4 with Ashley Burr close behind in third with a time of 22:09.1. Schneider, Levy and Burr all named All-League First Team.

“I definitely wanted to take it out conservatively the first lap knowing that we had to go through it three times,” Levy said in an interview with Run Michigan. “It was really just about pace out here.”

Madison Leigh (22:59.7) and Sammy Monday (23:00.4) also came in the top 15 at 11th and 12th place, respectively. Both athletes earned All-League Second Team honors.  

Both teams now look forward to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Terre Haute, Ind. on Friday, Nov. 10. To prepare, the Golden Grizzlies get back to hitting the trails.

“We’re probably going to do some more workouts out in the hills just to get ourselves prepared,” Schneider told Run Michigan. “Other than that, we’re going to start tapering off so our legs will feel nice and bouncy for it.”

In the Great Lakes Region, Oakland will be going up against several Big Ten teams including Michigan and Michigan State, which as of Oct. 30 are ranked in the top three for both divisions.

“We have a little bit of a dynasty going, and we’re excited about that, but we’re not going to let off the gas,” Rice said in his interview with Run Michigan. “We have to keep moving forward. We have to keep moving forward.”