The College of the Ozarks Bobcat and Lady Cat Cross Country teams opened the 2022 season Friday, September 2, competing at the NCAA Division II, Southwest Baptist University Invitational in Bolivar Missouri.
The Ladies opened the event with their 5K run. Rebecca Loya set the pace for the Lady Bobcats with a 12th place finish and a time of 20:05. Abigail Money was just behind Loya with a top 20 finish in 16th place and a time of 20:12. Emily Staal just missed a top 20 finish and came in 21st with a time of 20:41. Rounding out the Lady Cat field, Janelle Stall recorded a time of 21:13, Trinity Sadosky crossed the finish line it the 22:19 mark, Lauren Cowden was right on Sadosky’s heels with a time of 22:25, Naomi Foskett timed in at 25:47, and Jaqueline O’Harver recorded a time of 27:04. The Lady Cats finished fourth over all with all three teams ahead of them competing at the NCAA Division II level (Southwest Baptist, Drury, and Missouri S & T).
The Bobcats took the course next and followed the lead of the Lady Cats. Tanner Bailey made an impressive showing in his first collegiate event with a second-place finish overall, just :19 off the time of the top place finisher. Janvier Irakoze turned in a solid time of 21:50, followed by Cole Chaffin with a time of 22:06. A host of other freshmen dashed onto the college scene and recorded competitive times in their first collegiate meet. Drew Rose recorded a time of 23:26, Ethan Lollman, Logan Fraker, and Daniel Chupp finished one behind the other with times of 23:45, 23:46, and 23:47 respectively. Eric Burns (24:32), Hunter McKinney (26:10), and Ian Hearns (26:38) rounded out the Bobcat times for the event. The Bobcats also finished in fourth place overall with three NCAA Division II programs ahead of them.
Coach Clint Woods commented, “This was a good first test for our teams to start the season. The guys and girls both ran really well, and this was a great start for our freshman in their first collegiate race.”
The Bobcats and Lady Cats will have a week off, then return to action in the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Missouri on Saturday, September 17.