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First trophy in decade for OMS girls track

June 08, 2011 - The Oxford Middle School girls track team accomplished something that hasn't been done in over a decade – bringing home a trophy.

The Wildcats ran away from the competition at the Panther Invite at Lapeer West High School on Monday, May 23. They won the event with 134 points, while North Branch High School came in second with 96 points.

"We were real strong the first couple of events to see first place, second place for Oxford every time," said middle school track coach Ryan Kline.

He added it was fun to renew their rivalry with some of the Flint Metro League teams.

"It was fun to go back and coach against coaches we had in the past," Kline said. "At the end when we were getting all of the medals, the Lapeer coach said we were excited until Oxford showed up because they knew we were strong."

At the Oakland County 7th and 8th grade track meet on Thursday, June 2, eighth grader Glacier Wallington broke the middle school record in the 800 meter run, finishing in a time of 2:07.39.

The previous record of 2:09 was set in 1994 by Joe Gerbe. This was the first record either team has broken this season.

"He has been wanting to do this all season," Kline said. "So we talked about strategies and he accomplished it. It was pretty exciting and a good race."

Some of the standouts for the girls include Katrice Moll, Jessica Murphy, Samantha Carroll and Jennifer Brasington.

"It's a good and strong team," Kline said.

The victory validates what has been building for the last 10 years. When Kline took over in 2001, the track and field program at OMS only had a total of 54 athletes.

This season began with 154 athletes.

"It is our only spring sport that is sponsored by our Middle School, so that helps a lot," Kline said. "Because we have had more people, we have more coaches to get a lot more specialized instruction."

At the same invite, the middle school boys posted a second place finish, five and a half points out of first place.

Imlay City won the invite with 87.5 points.

Standouts for the boys included Wallington, Anson Rowley and Francisco Rivera-Reyes.

By Kline's standards, the boys had a small team this year with only 65 members. However, he called them a "strong team."

"All of the meets that we lost were really close scores," Kline said.

He added that one area that has really fueled the success of both the boys and the girls teams is the fact they have their own track to practice on.

"We haven't had a track in seven years to practice on on a daily basis," Kline said. "We shared practice at the high school a couple times, but it's not like practicing every day. I think that adds a lot to our success."

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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