Oakland opens new track facility with a win

The Grizzlies swept the Titans for the first time in 10 years.

The Golden Grizzlies made history this Saturday by hosting their first ever track and field event on campus, and sweeping the Titans for the first time in the 10 year dual meet history.

After years of planning and construction, the Oakland Track and Field Facility welcomed fans and athletes through its doors for the first time this past Saturday. The men and women’s teams hosted rival Detroit Mercy in the tenth annual dual meet between the two schools. Hundreds of fans, students and alumni attended to show their support for the relatively young program.

“It’s awesome for the community and for the campus,” said head coach Paul Rice. “It’s great not only for the athletes but also for the students to have something like this that they can use.”

Oakland’s men dominated as they cruised to a 107.5-61.5 victory over Detroit Mercy. The Golden Grizzlies had 12 first place finishes out of the 19 events. Bryce Stroede was the only Oakland athlete with two events as he claimed titles in the one mile run (4:26.29) and 3000m (8:31.30, dual record).

The Golden Grizzly women were in a much tougher battle as they came back to win 99-96 over the Titans. Oakland trailed by 14 points with four events left, but thanks to some key victories late, Oakland came out on top. Serena San Cartier and Ashley Burr both won two events with San Cartier claiming titles in the 200m (26.24) and the 100m hurdles (14.23, dual record) while Burr had victories in the 1500m (4:53.21) and 3000m (10:12.24).

Along with being the first meet in the new facility and hosting rival Detroit, the team also recognized its five seniors: Serena San Cartier, Jenae Curley, Megan Joiner, David Koponen and Nathan Ziolko.

“They’ve been great and have contributed to this program in different ways. We are better off because of what they have done in their five years here,” said Rice. “They have been a part of this building process and I am excited to see how they finish their career.”

Oakland will once again compete at the new facility as they will host the Golden Grizzly Duals this Saturday. The Golden Grizzlies will also be hosting the Horizon League Championships May 1-3, which only adds to all of the excitement surrounding the track and field team this season.

“Having the conference championship here is definitely going to put the cherry on my collegiate career here,” said senior San Cartier.