The College of the Ozarks Bobcat and Lady Cat Cross-Country teams traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas Friday to compete in the University of Arkansas, Chile Pepper Festival. The Chile Pepper is one of the premier meets in the nation and runners come from all over the country to compete.
The Lady Bobcats turned in a record setting performance in their 5k, finishing 5th out of 39 teams with an average time of 19:37. With each team member improving their season best time, Abigayle Money led the way for the Lady Cats with an 11th place finish overall. Her time of 18:48.4 was a personal record and set the pace for the team. Emily Staal finished right behind Money in 14th place. Her time of 18:57.7 was also a personal best and was a solid contributor to the team finish. Rebecca Loya turned in a time of 19:21.2 which was good for 31st place and another Lady Cat personal best. Janelle Staal recorded a time of 19:59.2 and she was followed by Lauren Cowden (20:58.6), Trinity Sadosky (21:25.0), Gracie Gatton (22:10.2), Naomi Foskett (23:22.3) and Jacqueline O’Harver (25:06.9). Competing against many larger schools, the Lady Cats placed well above most of them and finished behind four NCAA DII teams.
In the men’s 8k, Tanner Bailey continued his outstanding freshman campaign with a 12th place finish out of 365 runners. His time of 26:00.5 set the pace once again for the Bobcats. Janvier Irakoze competed well and turned in a time of 27:28.1. Cole Chafin recorded a time of 27:57.3 followed by Drew Rose (29:02.2), Ethan Lollman (29:09.6), Daniel Chupp (29:38.9), Eric Burns (29:55.6), Logan Fraker (29:59.8), Alex Frizzell (32:01.7), Ian Hearns (32:35.0) and Hunter McKinney (33:17.0).
Coach Clint Woods was extremely pleased with his teams’ performances at the extremely competitive meet. He stated, “The women’s team time was the lowest ever by one of our Lady Cat teams and I am really proud of their effort. With as many runners as there were in the field, to finish as high as we did is very exciting. The men’s team continued to build on their solid race at Missouri Southern and posted a great team time. Our freshmen are continuing to improve and adapt to the longer distance. We are excited about how our teams are performing right now and we look to continue building momentum as we finish out the season and prepare for nationals.”
The Bobcats and Lady Cats will continue their season this weekend as they look to progress to the NCCAA National Championships.