The College of the Ozarks Track & Field teams opened the 2022 season over the weekend as they traveled to Searcy, Arkansas for the Harding University Invitational. Two athletes set NCCAA Nationals qualifying marks and a host of athletes posted solid results in the first meet of the year.
The event began with the field events and the Bobcats qualified two individuals for the NCCAA National Championship meet to be held May 11-13 in Greenville, Illinois. Reigning Discus National Champion, Matt Thomas qualified in Discus, Shot Put, and Javelin while Gavin Fletcher qualified in the Shot Put. Thomas finished fourth in the Javelin with a distance of 44.68m, second in the Shot Put with a distance of 13.67m, and first in the discus with a distance of 45.44m. Fletcher finished third in the Shot Put with a throw of 13.02m. DeMarcus Powell-Long recorded a sixth-place finish in the Javelin with a throw of 44.68m. On the women’s side, Hannah Andrews finished 12th in the Discus with a throw of 29.05m.
In the track events, Janelle Staal and Lauren Cowden finished fourth and fifth in the 1500m run with times of 5:20.39 and 5:26.00 respectively. Naomi Foskett finished 17th with a time of 6:56.99 to go with her 16th place finish in the 800m with a time of 3:21.26. Lauren Cowden notched a fifth-place finish in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:42.36.
In the men’s 1500m, Janvier Irakoze crossed the finish line in third place with a time of 4:16.83 and teammate Brevin Bales finished with a time of 4:37.52 in 11th place. Cody Damlo finished fifth in the 110m Hurdles with a time of 17.82. In the men’s 100m, Cody Damlo finished in 15th place with a time of 12.26, Brevin Bales finished in 16th place with a time of 12.33 and Micah Bemenderfer recorded a 17th place finish right on the heels of Bales with a time of 12.33. In the men’s 400m, Briar Kellem finished seventh with a time of 55.99 and Caleb Bingham completed an 11th place finish with a time of 1:01.73. Irakoze also finished fourth in the 800m with a time of 2:06.27, while Dillon Brisbin finished eighth with a time of 2:09.80 and Tucker Moss came in 15th with a time of 2:26.28.
The track team will next compete this weekend at Missouri S & T and April 1-2 at the Central Methodist University Invitational in Fayette, Missouri.