Dexter grad finds her academic and athletic path at Oakland University


Jamie Giese in mid-throw. photo by Nickolas Giese

Just for the fun has helped lead Jamie Giese, a recent Dexter High School graduate, to a great opportunity at Oakland University.

The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to Giese after seeing a recent post on the Oakland Throws Instagram, which is run by Oakland University athletes.

It said: “oaklandthrows Let’s all welcome our newest commit @jamie_giese ! Jamie started throwing shot put and discus her junior year at Dexter High School. For discus, she was the district champion, regional runner up, and a state qualifier. For shot put, she broke her school record, was the district and regional champion, placed 5th at state, and was the runner up at the Midwest Meet of Champions”

photo by Nickolas Giese

Of the announcement, Giese said, “I’m very excited to move on to the next level. Both academically and athletically. I’m excited to move in and become more independent, as well as see more competition with throwing.”

STN asked Giese about starting these track and field events a bit later in her high school career.

“I just began throwing the spring season of my junior year, and I played club volleyball, so they overlapped each other a lot and I couldn’t really focus on throwing,” she said. “I’d say I started taking throwing seriously senior year when I didn’t have another sport to try and balance in my schedule. I’ve played volleyball since fourth grade and year-round since 7th grade, so track was just for fun at first.”

In that time, she had her fair share of athletic success.

For discus, she was the district champion, regional runner-up, and a state qualifier. For shotput, she broke the school record, was the district and regional champion, placed fifth at the state meet, and was runner-up at the Midwest meet of champions.

She was the highest scoring female on the track team, and second highest overall.

In volleyball, she was a captain and got all district and all region honors. And at the state meet for powerlifting, in her weight class, she placed sixth and had the highest bench press.

With all of this, STN asked her what led her to pursue these track and field events, and what she like's about them.

“Since I’ve only ever played volleyball, I’m used to team sports,” she said. “While track and field is definitely a team sport, it’s your individual attributes that make an impact for the team. Your performance has immediate results and there’s a measurement to show where you’re at. With volleyball, there are so many different factors to play a role in your success. I really enjoyed that aspect in track and field, which is similar to powerlifting, that I can perform and know exactly where I’m at and see my progress.”

She said she got into throwing “because my dad, my boyfriend, and a couple of my brothers were throwers.”

STN asked her about the support and help she has had along the way, and how it’s helped lead to her success on the athletic field.

“I attribute a lot of my success to coach Kirk Keebler at Dexter track and field,” she answered. “He is patient, detailed, focused, and dedicated. If anyone ever wanted to get extra reps in, he would fit it into his schedule and be there. He stayed consistent with his coaching, and gave individual attention to everyone, knowing what they need to work on, and how to get them where they need to be.”

She added, “I also wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the help of Coach Chris Whittaker of the Iron Dread lifting program at DHS. I’ve been lifting with Coach Whitt since freshman year for volleyball and I was on the powerlifting team the winter season of my senior year. My speed and strength comes from the weight-room and the genetics from my parents!”

Now she’s looking ahead to the fall and the new challenges and opportunities. STN asked her about committing to Oakland.

“My goal in academics is to go through all of the necessary steps to become a physical therapist, including receiving a PTD,” she said. “Oakland University has an amazing graduate Physical Therapy program and a supportive, dedicated coaching staff for NCAA D1 track and field. The coaches were extremely welcoming and helpful in the recruiting process, which was probably the deciding factor. I had a hard decision to make because I was talking with Wayne State, loved their coaching staff, and knew of their amazing PT program, but Oakland seemed like the right fit for me.”

photo by Nickolas Giese
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified