A Winning Weekend

Winning seemed to be last weekend’s trend for OU club teams. DIII Hockey and Vitality Dance each came up with huge wins (and huge trophies). Division III Hockey captured a National Championship last weekend and Vitality Dance won their competition at the University of Michigan, receiving first place in their dances for both Lyrical and Jazz.

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The club seasons are winding down, but there’s a lot more winning to do! To learn more about the club sports at OU click HERE!

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Club Sport Spotlight: Waterpolo

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Maria Gutowski came to Oakland University hoping to find a way to competitively swim, what she got was a chance to spend time in the water as part of the Waterpolo club team. The Waterpolo team has been around since 2010, and is already making great strides towards becoming an elite club. When Kristy Cornell and Liz Jacobs started the club in 2010 there wasn’t much interest or knowledge of the sport. But through advertising and word of mouth, they were able to get the Waterpolo team on it’s feet. Liz’s proudest moment is when she was able to see the team she had started compete in a tournament at Central Michigan University. Now with club president Maria Gutowski, the team is reaching new heights and providing an amazing opportunity for lovers of Waterpolo to play the game again.

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This past year, the Waterpolo team has competed in two tournaments and at both tournaments they went 1-2. For this team, just getting the opportunity to play again was invaluable. Getting the opportunity to grow as a team and to gain experience is necessary if they want to reach their goals for 2016. One of their biggest goals for the new year is to gain awareness on campus. They plan on volunteering more and becoming more involved in the community. The team is planning on competing in a tournament in April, and are hoping to have a scrimmage vs. Central Michigan University.

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If you are interested in learning more about the Waterpolo club team, or want to join, contact team president Maria Gutowski at mrgutowski@oakland.edu, or request to join their team on imleagues.com

 

Indoor Triathlon at OU Campus Rec!

Feeling a little sluggish and blue this winter season?  The Rec is here to stoke the fire back in your inner athlete, with a healthy dose of competition.  Get your body revved up and ready for the 6th annual Indoor Triathlon, hosted by the OU Campus of Recreation Department of Club Sports, taking place Sunday, March 6th 2016.  Spend the day feeling great, while challenging yourself or your team members with this fun, heart charging event!

Registration is open to individuals as well as teams of three, who wish to split up each leg of the race.  The race includes a 750M (15 laps) swim, a 20K bike ride and a 5K run.   The duration of the event is from 10:00am to 6:00pm. There will be two time blocks on Sunday, from 11:00am until 2:00pm and 2:00pm until 5:00pm which participants can choose as their race. Early bird registration ends March 3rd at Noon, so make sure to get your teams together or just yourself, down to the Campus Recreation Welcome Center and save 5 dollars!

Registration Fees

Prices: Individual OU Student: $20

Non-OU Individual: $28

3-person team: $70

Volunteering!

Volunteers are always appreciated too! The available times to help out are from 11:00am-2:00pm or 2:00pm-5:00pm.  All volunteers should arrive one hour prior to the start of their shift.  If interested click here.

To register for the indoor triathlon click here.

Participants and volunteers will help raise funds in support for the charity organization NOCC, North Oakland Community Coalition, who provide programs and education for underage drinking, substance abuse and mental health support.

For more details contact the Club Sports Advisory Council at imsports@oakland.edu or (248)370-4732.

Women’s Lacrosse making huge strides

The Women’s Club Lacrosse team is a tight-knit group of girls who are looking to make a name for themselves here at OU. Made up of 19 players who consider themselves family, they are looking to build on their huge season last year, and make it back to Nationals to compete for a championship once again!

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The Women’s Club Lacrosse team at Nationals.

Last season, this team had 18 wins and qualified to play in the National Tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia. While the team’s goal was to win their first game, which was something they hadn’t been able to accomplish in the previous 5 appearances in the National Tournament, they ended up beating Air Force Academy and Cal State San Marcos and going to the semifinal versus Duke University. After a hard fought battle, the team ended up losing 15-11. Although they were not eligible to win the National Championship, they went on to beat Loyola University Maryland to finish 3rd in the nation for the spring season.

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This season, women’s lacrosse is hoping to accomplish a few goals. First, to win the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League, which will determine their ranking in the Conference Championship. Second, to win the Conference Championship which will automatically qualify them for the National Championship. And lastly, to be the #1 team in the nation and win the National Championship. Although they want to have a successful season, they also want to have fun and continue to grow as a team.

One way that this lacrosse team is growing as a team is by giving back to the community. This year they did a can drive which benefited Gleaner’s in Pontiac. They also spent a day sorting food at Gleaner’s in Detroit. These women are truly giving Oakland University something to be proud of both on and off the field.

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In early April, they will be hosting a tournament here at OU. It will consist of 12 teams from Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota. If you would like to learn more about Women’s Lacrosse at OU or are interested in joining their club, contact Club President Nicky Cox at nmcox@oakland.edu

Club Sport Spotlight: Towbey Kassa

Towbey Kassa, is the Director of Athletic Solutions at Fathead and work heavily with Oakland Athletics with their graphics across campus. Kassa has played lacrosse since the 5th grade. After playing throughout his high school and university years here at Oakland, he got drafted to play in the Major Lacrosse League for the Chicago Machine’s 2009 season. He is also the coach for the Women’s Lacrosse Club here at Oakland University and spent some time discussing what it is like to be the coach of a collegiate level Lacrosse team.

What got you involved with coaching?

Well when I started playing lacrosse at Oakland University my coach really made an impact in my life on and off the field, and I told myself that I wanted to do the same for other players.

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Is this the first team you’ve coached?

No, I have coached Troy High School varsity boys and girls. Won a state championship with Troy High girls in 2002. I also coached the Men’s team at Oakland after I graduated.

How did you get involved with the Women’s Lacrosse club at OU?

In 2006 one of my old players was the captain for the women’s team. They were not happy with their current coach and the direction the program was going. She asked me to help her build the program and help put a good product on the field, so I took her up on it

What was it like starting out with W. Lacrosse/ what is it like now?

The program was on the verge of folding, the WCLL (Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League) wanted to kick us out! There was no organization no accountability. We had players that were on the team for the wrong reason. I was able to come in and start fresh. I made some rules and gave the students an option to help be part of something special or step away. I told them that you don’t have to be the best to do the best. They bought in to the system my old coach gave us, and the rest is history!

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What were your goals?

We had many goals!

  1. To be respectable student athletes, of the field 1st then on the field 2nd.
  2. Win our division every year.
  3. Go to the conference championships.
  4. Go to the national championship.
  5. Win the national championship.

 

Were they achieved? All but #5, came very close last year losing to the undefeated Duke Blue Devils by 4 goals.

Biggest hardships/issues

Recruiting players to come to Oakland, most girls love the school but a little too close to home. Balancing schedule for the student athletes, since most live at home or campus they usually take a full class load, work and have late night practice from 10pm-11:30pm. Lastly team dues, In order to be a power house you have to play a power house schedule and travel and practice cost can get costly

What does coaching mean to you?

It means the world to me, its not about winning and losing. It means more to me to see the players working together to reach one common goal. To watch them come into the program and watching them walk across the stage when the graduate is the most rewarding feeling ever. My wife and I are truly blessed to have these student athletes in our lives!

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What have you learned in your experience as a coach?

You have to be able to be open minded, understanding, caring, organized, patient. If you are loyal to your team they will be loyal to you!

What are your plans for the next year with the club?

To give our players the best on and off the field experience, win our division, regain the conference championship, go to nationals, and playing in the championship game!

Where do you see the club going?

My goal is to help elevate this to varsity status! NCAA D1 would be exciting to see at Oakland University.

Interested in keeping up-to-date with the Women’s Lacrosse Club? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter  for browse their website to get the latest in their club activities!

 

Club Sport Spotlight: Tamara Hew

Tamara Hew has been the advisor to the Running Club since its inception. She is also a researcher and professor at Oakland University. We had the opportunity to catch up with her and speak about herself and her involvement with the Running Club.

What do you do as an advisor?

Hmm. Good question! Since the students are supposed to drive the direction of the Club, I am basically here to support and provide oversight. Since I love these students and LOVE RUNNING, I try to cultivate some fun club events like sponsoring previous Halloween runs where members ran around campus in costume and handed out candy. We also had a treasure hunt and Easter Egg hunt. I also try to encourage end of year gatherings in the Prevention Research Center (where I conduct my research). I enjoy running with the club, although I’m currently too slow to keep up with them (so, avoid the embarrassment).

How did you get involved with the Running Club as an advisor?

My Honors College student (Brigid Nash) actually started the Running Club in the Fall of 2011 and asked if I wanted to be their advisor and I was THRILLED! The ensuing Club Presidents (Carmen, Syed) have done a FABULOUS job stimulating interest and growing the Club.

f0086c07-ba5b-412d-ad60-89fd171546a4What does it mean to you to be an advisor of the Running Club?

I am SO PROUD AND HONORED to be advisor of the Running Club! Mostly because I am passionate about running and enjoy seeing the students reap the benefits of health, camaraderie and connection with the University that this Club offers. Plus, Syed is HILARIOUSLY funny and all the students make me laugh. As an Evil Professor, it’s refreshing to hear the student’s point of view as we converse on runs. How many professors actually get to connect with other students in such a casual way? Running brings all types of people together, who normally would never cross paths if it were not for running.

Do you have plans for the club?

I’d like to see more “fun events” for Club members on campus (more relays, themed runs, community involvement to encourage running). But, it’s hard as everyone’s schedule varies and the student’s get so busy. They like going to races together and have joined the Inter-School Club competition which is fantastic!

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Tamara Hew as Daisy Duck during a Running club Halloween event

How long do you hope to be the club’s advisor?

I hope I am never voted off as advisor and wish to remain deeply connected to the Running Club until I leave or retire.

What do you do at OU besides act as the Running Club’s advisor?

I consider myself a researcher, with expertise in fluid balance disorders and exercise-associated collapse. I conduct as much research with a variety of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students as possible here at OU and in the field (at races). Currently, I am screening as many of the OU student-athletes as possible to obtain baseline data which to launch future studies designed to prevent injuries and achieve peak performance. And, of course I teach classes…

Tell me more about your research: I measure a lot of markers of performance, including tests to determine maximum aerobic capacity (i.e. how “fit” people are, OR how efficient people are in utilizing oxygen for fuel. This is called a person’s “VO2 Max”). For the VO2 test of maximum performance, I hook up people to machines which measure how much oxygen they are breathing in compared to how much carbon dioxide they are breathing out, so it looks like they have a snorkel while running. THEN, I start the treadmill at an “easy pace” and increase the speed of the treadmill 0.5mph every minute until the person can’t keep up with the treadmill (i.e. they fall off). This is what we affectionately call a “max test”, with the highest treadmill speed ever recorded in the lab treadmill a whopping 15.5mph in a professional runner (that runner, in fact, was Syed’s High School coach)! We also routinely draw blood, collect urine and run DEXA scans in the lab before, during and after exercise to find out how exercise affects the body (both good and bad).

If you are interested in keeping up with the Running Club, follow them on Facebook.

Women’s Soccer Club’s Impressive Season

The Women’s Soccer Club’s competitive season is in the fall. They play in a five team league, competing against Wayne State University, University of Michigan- Dearborn, University of Michigan- Flint, and Washtenaw Community College, with each team playing each other twice in a season. At the end of a season, the top four teams face off against one another in a tournament.

This season, the club “finished in 1st place this season” says Jessica Warminski, “with a record of 6 wins and 2 ties, scoring 33 goals and only allowing 4 goals”.

This qualified the team to compete in the top four tournament where they defeated #4 Washtenaw Community College 2-0. Then they played Wayne State, the Women’s Soccer Club’s “toughest opponent”. The end score was 0-0, resulting in the winner determined by penalty shootout. After the shootout, it was decided that Oakland University was the season winner with the score of 3 to 1.

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Women’s Soccer after winning season title

In addition to winning the season title for their division, the Women’s Soccer Club also raised money in October for breast cancer awareness. They did this by turning one of their home matches into a fundraiser and then donated the funds to breast cancer research and awareness.

If you are interested in staying up to date with the Women’s Soccer club, find them on Grizzorgs, or contact their president here.