Indoor track and field midseason check-up

Dakota Brecht, Staff Reporter

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Inside the sporting dome on Oakland University’s campus, the men and women’s track and field teams are getting ready for the weather to warm up so they can lace up those spikes and get back on the track. Both teams had a couple indoor meets in December and January to help get the rust out and prepare for the spring.

There are many standouts on both teams, but two names really shine, one male and one female. Andrew Bowman from the men’s team is a fifth year senior and has really made an impact on not only the track team but the cross country team as well. On the other side, sophomore Chanel Gardner is an absolute machine.

Bowman has been an important factor for the Golden Grizzlies since his freshman season and continues to make an impact on the Horizon League.

“A couple years ago when I ran [steeplechase] I was one away from going to nationals,” Bowman said. “It was awesome but it’s still not easy to get back to it and the fact that you were one away last time doesn’t mean you’re going to get it this time. It requires 100 percent focus and attention to get there.”

Bowman sees the indoor season as good preparation for warmer meets out in the elements.

“This indoor season is basically just laying a good foundation for a successful outdoor season, it’s smarter to just stay healthy and work towards that outdoor season,” he said.

Head Coach Paul Rice is proud of Bowman as he enters his final season.

“This is a bittersweet year,” Rice said. “It’s his last go around and he had a great fall season in cross country. We’re looking for some real great excitement in the spring.”

In Gardner’s last three 200 meter sprints, she has won them all. Gardner is running the best she ever has and looks to keep it up through the outdoor season.

“It’s actually really hard because there’s a lot of good people on this team,” Gardner said. I like training for it and I love how my coaches really push me in practice.”

Head Coach of the women’s team Tanisha Johnson has high expectations for Gardner and is impressed of her performance.

“I expect Chanel to keep on doing the things she’s doing now, she had a really great high school career, she had a really good year for us last year and I think with the training she has had, she looks stronger this year than ever before,” Johnson said. “I think she has more confidence than ever before and you’re just going to see it every day on the track.”

In the spring, Oakland will be hosting the Horizon League Championship and it is a huge deal for the athletes, coaches and fans.

“It’s pretty cool for an athlete to have the opportunity to compete at home for a championship,” Rice said. “It’s a special thing to do well at your home facility.”

“It means everything to host the championship here,” Johnson added. To be in front of your family and all of your friends, with the home crowd around you and the energy is going to be exciting.”

Coming off of a men’s and women’s first place in cross country and with an exciting outdoor track and field season looming, indoor track and field continues to be the perfect place to get those final tune ups in before the summer sun comes back out.