College of the Ozarks student-athletes who were scheduled to participate in spring sports found their seasons cut short or totally canceled due to COVID-19.
The C of O track and field men’s and women’s teams were scheduled for their first meet on March 21, just a few days following the season cancellation announcement by the NAIA.
“All the athletes were ready to compete and disappointed when we found out our season was cancelled,” commented head track coach Kenzie Larkin, “but everyone handled it with such class and integrity. “
Larkin commented that returning athletes are using this time to make improvement in their individual events, and she expects they will come back stronger and better than ever. She stated, “I am so eager to watch them learn and grow from this situation. I believe they will be better because of it.”
The College recognizes three individuals on the men’s team who have participated for multiple seasons and were scheduled to compete in their senior season: Kyle Kapella, Ty Durnell, and Dakota Cartwright.
- Kapella (Hollister, Mo.) has been a member of the team since the College reinstated the program in 2016-2017. He has excelled in the high jump and participated in the 4 x 400 in national competition, as well as running the 200m during the season.
- Durnell (Willow Springs, Mo.) is a three-year team member, who has competed in javelin, 800 meters, and the 4 x 400 at the national level.
- Cartwright (Rolla, Mo.) joined the team last season and has competed in discus and shot put for the Bobcats.
Of the seniors, Larkin adds, “I still don’t have the words to speak and am so disappointed for all our senior athletes in each sport impacted. All I can say to our three track and field athletes, is thank you. Thank you for your time, dedication, commitment and leadership. All three of them will hold a special place in my heart. They provided great leadership for our team, and they helped lay the foundation and pave the way for the future of College of the Ozarks track and field.”
Returning team members will look forward to resuming competition next year. If you’d like to learn more about the track and field team members, please click on the roster page for their bios.