The College of the Ozarks Track and Field teams competed in the National Christian College Athletic Association National Championships May 13-14, and brought home two national champions, 11 top ten finishes, and eight personal best performances.
Sarah Zimmerman led the way for the Lady Cats and recorded her personal best on her way to the National Championship in women’s Javelin. Her throw of 40.58 meters was over two meters farther than the second-place finisher in the event. Grace Steiger also recorded a personal best in the Women’s Shot Put with a distance of 12.07 meters and just missed a podium spot with her fourth-place finish. Janelle Stall turned in a personal best performance in the Women’s 1500 recording a time of 5:07.97, and good for a top ten finish in ninth place.
The Bobcats were led by Matt Thomas and his National Championship performance in the Discus. Matt threw for 46.86 meters and cruised to the top of the podium over the rest of the field. He also finished fourth in the Men’s Shot Put with a throw of 14.52 meters. Gavin Fletcher finished in the top ten in Shot Put with a distance of 13.05 meters. James Larimore recorded a personal best in the Pole Vault, clearing a height of 4.55 meters and finishing fourth overall. Josh Slocum posted solid performances in the Men’s 400 and the Men’s 200 where he recorded a personal best in the prelims of the 400 with a time of 50.97 and finished 8th overall in the finals. He also finished 13th in the 200 with a time of 22.97. Drew Vinson, Wesley Moore, and Shelomi Miner rounded out the top ten finishers for the Bobcats. Vinson finished 10th in the Men’s Javelin with a throw of 42.22 meters; Moore posted a time of 10:21.67 to finish 10th in the Men’s 3000 Steeplechase; and Miner finished 10th in the Triple Jump with a distance of 12.49 meters. Garrett Pierce recorded a 14th place finish in the men’s 5000-meter run with a time of 16:54.29.
“I am unbelievably proud of all of our athletes. The ones that competed, represented the college well and gave it all that they had, and the results proved that. The athletes that went to nationals but did not qualify or compete, were a part of something bigger than themselves. They could have gone home a week earlier but they came and supported their teammates.” Said Coach McKenzie Larkin. “I am excited for our future. We have several young athletes that will be back next year and have a year of experience now so it will be fun to watch them compete and improve. These students overcame so much this year and season, but they all stuck it out and gave it their all every single day at practice. I am so grateful to be their coach.”
Congratulations to National Champions; Sarah Zimmerman, Matt Thomas, and the rest of the Bobcat and Lady Cat Track and Field teams.