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. These included men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s track and field, and men’s baseball.
While team champions could not be named, the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), chose to recognize the investment of time and preparation by the student-athletes, as well as their performances to date, by awarding All-Conference and Champions of Character team honors.
College of the Ozarks had six athletes named to their respective sport’s All-Conference Team and one player from each team named as a Champion of Character.
A.I.I. All-Conference baseball recipients include senior catcher Westin Gann (Springfield), junior outfielder Zach Ford (Nixa), and junior utility player Max Pulley (Overland Park, Kansas). Junior catcher Lincoln Rasmussen (Springdale, Arkansas) was named as baseball’s Champion of Character. The Bobcat baseball team managed to play 21 games before their season was canceled, with Pulley (.328), Ford (.326), and Gann (.317) atop the hitting chart for everyday players. All three also provided solid defensive performances on the field.
The A.I.I. All-Conference awardees in golf include junior Caleb Davis (Liberty) for the men, alongside sophomore Hannah Aherin (Ozark) and junior Kate Voss (Cuba) for the women. Champions of Character awardees featured seniors Skylar Kistler (Auburn, Kentucky) and Heath Carmichael (Ozark). The golf teams had the opportunity to play half of their season in the fall and participated in one tournament before the cancellation of the spring season. For the season, Davis averaged a score of 79.2 in his ten rounds of play; Aherin shot 89.3 on average over 12 rounds; and Voss averaged 89.8 over 13 rounds of play.
The C of O men’s and women’s track and field teams were scheduled for their first meet on March 21, just a few days following the cancellation announcement. Since the A.I.I. does not host a track and field championship event, no All-Conference awards are issued.
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) 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 4x400 in national competition, as well as running the 200m during the season. Durnell (Willow Springs) is a three-year team member, who has competed in javelin, 800 meters, and the 4x400 at the national level. Cartwright (Rolla) joined the team last season and has competed in discus and shot put for the Bobcats. The remaining team members will look forward to resuming competition next year.