The 2009 season is winding down for Oakland University’s track and field team, and they have just one last competition.
The team will travel to Cedar City, Utah for the Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championship, held May 14-16 at the Eccles Coliseum.
Among the many Golden Grizzlies competing at the championships are Joe Goike in the 800 meter run, Breanna Peabody and Megan Enzor in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles. Anthony Halfmann and Adam Grubius will also be participating in the throwing events.
Head track and field coach Paul Rice has been preparing his team for this week’s conference championship for months.
“It’s been an interesting season. We have many young athletes and they are willing to learn,” Rice said.
The outdoor track team was well-traveled this season, competing in meets across five different states.
Rice declined to single out individual accomplishments from the season, and said that he prefers to judge the team’s performance as a group instead.
“On the men’s side, it was a strong group,” Rice said. “Mainly in the mid-distance and long distance groups who are the core. We’ve been lucky with some field athletes also.”
“On the women’s side, it’s more spread out,” he said. “We have people in sprints, mid-distance, and field events that have done well.”
The regular season produced several notable moments. Junior Zack Jones broke his own school record in the five kilometer race at the Bison Outdoor Classic on April 11. His younger sister, freshman Lia Jones, also broke a school record that day in the women’s 5K race.
Rice is hoping that his squad can build off of this season’s results and become a more well-rounded team in 2010.
“We have a good group of sprinters, but they had injury problems this year,” Rice said. “We’re also weak at field events for the men’s but we’re hoping to expand on that.”
Rice is currently scouting future OU track athletes.
“I’m looking at [bringing in] three solid athletes for the men’s program.” Rice said. “One of them is an all state athlete and another is a state champion in Division III. I’m also hoping to add depth.”