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DYNAMIC duo

Bass, Turner Elevate Men’s Tennis Program

Bishop Bass

2015 spring issue

Todd Turner

EAGLE Insider


University of the Ozarks UNIVERSITY OF THE OZARKS has approached education with an unyielding search for truth. That search led our founders to establish the first co-educational college west of the Mississippi. It set the stage for the first Arkansas woman to receive a college degree. And because truth often defies convention, ours was the first historically white college in the state to admit AfricanAmericans. Every day, our history inspires Ozarks students to discover their own individual truths.


Dynamic Duo: Bass, Turner Elevate Tennis Program

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Social Media Success: Emily Black Excels In Media Role

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2015

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WHAT’S INSIDE

Player of the Year: Travis Leach Is ASC’s Top Player

EAGLE Insider is a biannual publication of the Sports Information Office.

Editor: Josh Peppas Assistant Editor: Emily Black Photography: U of O Sports Information Office, U of O Public Relations Office, Mindpower Print Production: U of O Public Relations Office

University of the Ozarks

University of the Ozarks + 415 College Avenue + Clarksville, Ark. 72830

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CONTENTS

EAGLE Insider

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EAGLE Insider

Dynamic Duo:

Todd Turner and Bishop Bass Elevate Tennis Program 2015 spring issue 2

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t didn’t take long for Head Coach Michael Skimbo to realize the impact Bishop Bass and Todd Turner would have on the men’s tennis program. The defining moment for Skimbo came when the two were freshmen competing in the American Southwest Conference Fall Tournament as doubles partners against powerhouse Texas-Tyler. The duo pulled out what was then considered an upset. Fast-forward three years later, and the two seniors haven’t slowed a bit. “I don’t think they realized what they accomplished in that win against Texas-Tyler,” said Skimbo. >>>

“They were just kids back then playing tennis. They didn’t understand the magnitude it would have on the program. It just showed the culture was going to change that day. Since then we have gained momentum and have succeeded.” They are the two winningest players in program history, both in singles and doubles. Bass, playing No. 2 singles, ranks first in career wins with more than 40 victories. Turner, playing No. 1 singles, has posted the second-most career singles wins with over 30. As doubles partners, the duo has posted an astounding 37-9 career record together University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider

spring issue

2015

They recognize the academic going into their senior season. “Todd is a very intelligent player on the court,” said opportunities provided in NCAA Skimbo. “He does things strategic-wise that others don’t Division III and the positive impact it think of. He is a great player. And his national Academic will have on their career endeavors. All-American award last year speaks for itself. Bishop Jimmy Clark, is very competitive on the court. I think he is better in a Athletic Director match than he is in practice. When the occasion rises, he rises with it.” Both have demonstrated an unwavering focus in the classOne secret to their success is the fact that neither take room. it easy in practice, according to Skimbo. Turner, who owns a 4.0 grade point average as a biol“They are the type of players that bring it every day,” he ogy major, has been accepted into University of Arkansas said. “They don’t take a day off of practice. It is a high-infor Medical Sciences, while tensity effort. They get after it. Bass, has a 3.65 grade point And they benefit playing each average in management and other ever day.” administration, will attend It is that type of intensity graduate school. In 2014, that has brought about indiTurner was only the seventh vidual accolades and team student-athlete in school hissuccess. Both have been Alltory to achieve Academic AllConference performers in each America honors at the national of their respective seasons. level. Fueled by Bass and Turner, “They recognize the acathe men’s tennis program has demic opportunities of NCAA been elevated to among the Division III and the positive strongest in the region. Ozarks impact it will have on their has been ranked as high as future career endeavors,” said No. 15 in the Intercollegiate Athletic Director Jimmy Clark. Tennis Association regional “They are model studentranking, and the program athletes who always show qualified for conference postgreat commitment to season play in 2014. The duo academic work, despite also received a program first extremely busy athletic when they were ranked No. Todd Turner and Bishop Bass schedules.” 15 in the ITA West region in doubles. But their success hasn’t been just on the court. Bass and Turner are much more than elite athletes, they are two of the top students on campus. Each exemplify the NCAA Division III moniker of students first and athletes second. University of the Ozarks

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EAGLE Insider

Hailie GILBERT Youthful Softball Team Ready For Breakout Season

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With another talented recruiting class in place, Head Softball Coach Laurie Adkins has the program headed in the right direction and primed for a breakout season in 2015. The roster includes 18 freshmen, one transfer and six returning players. The uniqueness of so many freshmen presents both challenges and benefits, according to Adkins. “It can become a roller coaster with freshmen, but on the other hand they are energetic and enthusiastic,” said Adkins. “They have experience in the nationally 4

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competitive softball arena. That type of experience will help counter some of our youth. They have the vision and understand there is a great opportunity here. I think the freshmen have it in their hands as to how far we will go.” With an influx of so many new players, the Lady Eagles have more depth at each position. Adkins expects as many as eight freshmen to be in the starting lineup. “This is the most depth I’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Adkins. “This is the first year that I’ve had numerous options at each position. But my concern is that we will be younger than the other teams.” University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Sam SHOOK >>

Solid Nucleus Returns For 2015 Eagles

University of the Ozarks

2015

While the Eagles had an up-and-down season and didn’t qualify for the playoffs in 2014, the club was among the mix of post-season teams. “We were close, but we weren’t very consistent last season,” said Clark. “We were good one weekend and bad the next. It was frustrating. Ultimately, our pitching will determine how far we go.” The Eagles have six starters returning, including AllConference shortstop and right-handed pitcher Andrew Beck. Beck hit .308 and drove in 31. All-Conference players Sam Shook and Taylor Parker bolster the lineup.

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Head Baseball Coach Jimmy Clark believes his offense and defense will be strong enough to compete in the rigors of the American Southwest Conference, but the Eagles will need to find a way to replace 180.0 innings on the mound. Ozarks lost two of its three conference starters on the mound who combined for 122.2 innings of work. Three other pitchers graduated. Clark believes he has capable pitchers on the staff, but they are unproven. “I feel good about our defense and offense, but pitching is somewhat of an unknown,” said Clark. “I am excited about the arms we have. They are just not proven.”

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EAGLE Insider Mollie Grace WILKINSON

Veteran Players Lead Women’s Tennis Team

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After working through a tough season a year ago, the women’s tennis team has the makings of a playoff contender thanks to a strong nucleus returning for the 2015 spring season. In all, the Lady Eagles return six lettermen from a squad that finished 2-7 in the American Southwest Conference last season. Things could have been different in 2014 if multiple 5-4 losses went the other way. If the Lady Eagles can post a couple of key victories, they will have a shot at qualifying for the playoffs. It will be important for the team to play their best when 6

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it matters most, according to interim Head Coach Michael Skimbo. Veterans Megan Wallace, Mollie Grace Wilkinson and LeAnan White will provide valuable experience for the Lady Eagles and freshman Katelynn Woodard is a player with raw talent. Wallace was All-Conference last season after posting a 7-4 singles mark and will likely finish her career ranked in the program’s top-15 in wins. This season the ASC is split into an East and West Division, with the top three teams qualifying for the playoffs. Ozarks, Texas-Tyler, Louisiana College, LeTourneau University and East Texas Baptist comprise the East Division. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Corey DILLARD >>

Championship Caliber Eagles Enter 2015 With High Expectations

University of the Ozarks

2015

seniors, who have helped develop a winning culture within the program. The Eagles boast Todd Turner and Bishop Bass at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. The duo forms the winningest doubles combination in program history, posting an impressive 37-9 record in three years. The talent doesn’t end there though as seniors Corey Dillard and Greg Knaggs are ranked fourth and sixth in career singles wins at Ozarks. All four of those seniors have been All-Conference performers. Sophomore Trevor Scott is slated to play No. 5 singles, while freshman Spencer Turner will play No. 6 singles.

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The 2015 men’s tennis team has all the makings of a championship team thanks to an experienced and talented senior class. The Eagles have built a tradition-rich program in just a few short years, posting three straight double-digit win seasons and developing a reputation as one of the top NCAA Division III men’s programs in the region. Ozarks qualified for the conference playoffs in 2014 and advanced to the semi-finals of the post-season tournament. For its accomplishments, Ozarks was ranked No. 16 in the ITA West preseason region poll. Fueling the expectations are six

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EAGLE Insider

Jordana ANDREWS Ramsey’s Lady Eagles Appear In Playoffs For Fourth Time

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The women’s basketball team qualified for the American Southwest Championship Tournament for the fourth time under Head Coach Carl Ramsey. The Lady Eagles took on nationally-ranked Texas-Tyler in the first round and suffered a loss to end the season with an 11-15 record. While the Lady Eagles didn’t advance further, four players received post-season honors from the ASC. Bryanna Moltz, a 6-foot-2 sophomore forward from Sheridan, Ark., was named to the All-Conference Second Team. Ashley Hipps, a 5-foot-7 junior guard from Greenland, Ark., was named 8

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to the All-Conference Honorable Mention Team. Madison Sherrer, a 5-foot-6 freshman from Mena, Ark., earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team, while Jordana Andrews, a 5-foot-6 senior guard from Center Ridge, Ark., was named the Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. Moltz ranked among the ASC’s top-5 in scoring (14.6) and rebounding (8.0). Ramsey, in his sixth season at Ozarks, produced the second-best defensive unit in the conference, limiting their opponents to a 36.7 shooting percentage. Ozarks also ranked fourth in blocked shots with 4.2 per contest. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Shaun KEANE >>

Men’s Soccer Team Advances To Post-Season Play

University of the Ozarks

2015

and third in shutouts (7). The team was showered with post-season honors from the ASC at the conclusion of the season. Leach was the Defensive Player of the Year, Daniel Valencia took Defensive Freshman of the Year, Torok was the Coach of the Year and Matt Weaver was the Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. In all, six players earned All-Conference honors. Additionally, Leach was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-South Region Team. Benner was named to the Capital One Academic All-District V Men’s Soccer Team. spring issue

For the 12th time in program history, the men’s soccer team qualified for the conference playoffs. The traditionrich Eagles secured the No. 3 seed and defeated Howard Payne University in the first round to advance to the semifinals where they lost to Hardin-Simmons University. Under first-year Head Coach Matt Torok, the young Eagles finished the regular season 9-7-2 overall and 5-3-1 in league play. The trio of midfielder Shaun Keane, defender Travis Leach and goalkeeper Austin Benner spearheaded Ozarks’ defensive unit during the 2014 season. The Eagles ranked fifth in the ASC in goals against average (1.21)

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EAGLE Insider Kelby ROBINSON

Men’s Basketball Team Earns Playoff Bid

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The men’s basketball team qualified for the American Southwest Conference Tournament, their first post-season appearance since 2005-06, and took on No. 1 seed East Texas Baptist University February 26. Despite a loss in the first round, the Eagles are building for even more success under second-year Head Coach David Ferrell. “Qualifying for the playoffs was a big deal for us,” said Ferrell. “Being in the playoffs is how we are measured here. We want to build off this experience.” Ozarks was again one of the highest scoring teams in 10 > > >

the ASC, ranking fourth in points per game (76.8). A successful season also brought individual honors. Jace Richardson, a 6-foot point guard from Fort Smith, Ark., was named the ASC Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team. Kelby Robinson, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from Little Rock, Ark., was named to the All-Conference Third Team. Dylan Gray, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Siloam Springs, Ark., earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team. Richardson was the top assist leader for Ozarks averaging 4.2 per game, while Robinson led the team in scoring (15.5). Gray averaged 8.3 points. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Women’s SOCCER >>

Natalie Dreyer Named Women’s Soccer Coach

University of the Ozarks

2015

philosophy is based on the quality of a student-athletes’ overall educational experience, and I believe Ozarks exemplifies that.” Dreyer holds a D coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation and a National Level Coaching Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Dreyer received her bachelor’s degree in Education from CMU in 2010. She also has a master’s degree in Education from CMU. Dreyer and her husband, Andy, were married in 2013.

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Natalie Dreyer was named the new Head Women’s Soccer Coach in December. Dreyer spent the last five years as the Assistant Women’s Coach at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., helping the program to a 46-33-12 record. Dreyer, a native of St. Charles, Mo., helped guide CMU to four straight winning seasons. As a player there, she was a four-year starter and a three-year captain. “I was attracted to Ozarks for the small school atmosphere,” she said. “A coach really has a chance to mold student-athletes’ lives here. The NCAA Division III

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EAGLE Insider

Emily Black: Social Media Standout

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n the frenetic pace of another women’s college basketball game, student Sports Information Assistant Emily Black calmly posts what will be her fifteenth tweet of the game. Undeterred by a team celebration in front of her as a result of a playoff-clinching win, Black reveals her thoughts on the University’s Athletic Department Twitter feed. A number of followers retweet or favorite the post, which included a short video, within seconds of reading it. That quickly, the news of another post-season appearance for the 12 > > >

Lady Eagles was literally in the hands of more than 1,000 twitter followers. From in-game live tweeting to game day promotions on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Black has been behind the scenes the past four years working in the Sports Information Office as the student Director of Social Media. Unassuming by nature, Black’s work has been anything but that, according to Sports Information Director Josh Peppas. “Emily’s impact on our athletic department has been invaluable,” said Peppas. “While a lot of things she does are behind the scenes, her influence hasn’t gone unnoticed University of the Ozarks


University of the Ozarks

Twitter is all about connecting and engaging and being able to resonate with someone. Emily Black

2015

“I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of areas in the Sports Information Office,” said Black. “I think a lot of the things done at a small school like ours can translate into a larger scale. For me, marketing is story telling. That is what intrigues me. It is all about communicating in creative ways.” Her passion for athletics will continue after graduation as she has already been accepted into the Manhattan Sports Business Academy in New York City for the summer session. In the fall, Black will attend Law School at either Southern Methodist University or Fordham University. Following Law School, she aspires to be a brand manager for professional athletes, or work as a sports agent. “I want to ultimately be working in athlete branding in some capacity for an established firm or owning my own firm,” she said. “In particular, I would like to work with female athletes. I think they are underrepresented, especially with endorsements. I would like to leverage opportunities for them.” Peppas believes Black will succeed beyond what she has already accomplished at Ozarks. “She has a desire to do things the right way,” he said. “She leads a disciplined life and possesses outstanding work and study habits. Her character is impeccable. Her parents taught her well.” spring issue

by student-athletes and coaches. She has the ability to process what transpired in a game and produce an appropriate tweet to describe it. That has been her strength and why she is so beneficial to the athletic department.” A native of Clarksville, Ark., Black was an early adopter of twitter as she recognized the opportunities the platform provided. “I was able to interview a few WNBA players via twitter several years ago and realized what an incredible platform it was to interact,” she said. “It was a way for fans to be involved and spread their love of the game. Twitter is all about connecting and engaging and being able to resonate with someone. It allows you to connect with them on a totally different level. I think social media is giving athletes their own platform. They can be their own marketers to some extent now. Twitter and Instagram can give anyone a voice or anyone a brand.” Sporting a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a marketing major, her work promoting a campus Special Olympics event resulted in the university’s athletic department receiving $500 from the NCAA two years ago. She has also produced contests via twitter for Hoops Madness and other home events. The Sports Information Office’s use of social media is one of the most effective in all of NCAA Division III. According to a D-III social media index ranking, Ozarks’ athletic department has been among the top-15 all year. The index measures activity in Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for over 400 NCAA Division III institutions. In addition to assisting with social media, Black has been the official statistician for various sports, a photographer and has provided written content for the athletic department web site.

EAGLE Insider

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EAGLE Insider Clay Target Shooting

Clay Target Shooting Team Sees Growing Success

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The men’s and women’s clay target team continues to see success under first-year Head Coach Steve Johnson. Ozarks established a clay target shooting team in 2010, but Johnson is the first full-time coach and has an enthusiastic roster of student-athletes competing in events across the region. Johnson, who was hired in September, owns an extensive background in sporting clay, trap, bunker, five stand and international shooting. In addition to his collegiate experience, Johnson is the winningest High School coach in Arkansas, having led Huntsville High 14 > > >

School to three state championships. In the fall, Ozarks competed against Lyon College in Batesville, Ark., and finished fourth overall. The team also went to the USA Shooting Fall Selection Match and the Arkansas State Collegiate Shoot in Tillar, Ark., this spring. At the Arkansas State Collegiate Shoot, Ozarks placed third in International Trap. Additionally, Grace Brown finished first in the Women’s J1 Division and fifth overall in an Arkansas Junior Olympic Qualifier match. Ozarks will cap the season at the Association of College Unions International National Tournament in San Antonio, Texas. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Stephanie ALDERSON >>

University of the Ozarks

Championships in Tyler, Texas, November 1 when she finished 63rd overall with a time of 29:59 in the 6K. In her first collegiate race, she paced Ozarks with a time of 26:09.03 for a 13th-place finish at the 5K Platinum Buffalo Festival in Fort Smith, Arkansas. During the 2014 running season, Alderson was the team’s top finisher at the Platinum Buffalo Festival, the Mississippi College Choctaw Open and the Arkansas D-III Championships. At Oark High School, Alderson was an All-State cross country runner. >>>

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Freshman cross country runner Stephanie Alderson was named the American Southwest Conference women’s cross country Runner of the Week for her outstanding performance at the Arkansas D-III Championship. Alderson, from Oark, Ark., placed third at the race held October 22 on Ozarks’ course in Clarksville. Alderson ran a 24:36 in the 5K race to be the team’s top finisher. It was her second-fastest 5K time of the season. She ran a 22:29 at the Ozarks Invitational October 4, which is the 26th fastest 5K time in program history. Alderson capped her freshman season at the ASC

2015

Stephanie Alderson Named ASC Runner of the Week

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EAGLE Insider

Travis LEACH Travis Leach Named Conference Defensive Player of the Year

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Junior defender Travis Leach was named the 2014 American Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Leach was also named to the AllASC First Team. A starter in all 20 matches, Leach spearheaded the Eagles’ defense to a conferenceleading seven shutouts. Leach, a 5-11, 165-pound native of Denton, Texas, consistently marked the opponent’s top offensive player, and helped Ozarks own one of the lowest goals against averages (1.21) in the conference. He was also an offensive threat scoring two goals and tallying one assist. He took 17 shots. 16 > > >

“He is the rock, the tone setter and the foundation of our team,” said Head Coach Matt Torok. “He is a tremendous player who defends all over the field. I named him captain not only for his ability, but also for his character. He represents what this program is all about. He is a very special player.” He is just the third player in program history to earn the award, and the first since 2007. Off the pitch, Leach has excelled in the classroom, having earned membership on the ASC All-Academic Team and NSCAA Scholar All-South Region Team. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Cheer/STUNT >>

Competitive Cheerleading Team Brings Home Championship

University of the Ozarks

2015

score of 23.1. Additionally, senior JoJo Compton took home the Athlete of the Month trophy for her individual performance. “That was their best performance competition routine of the year,” said Cox. “They pushed through some injuries and adversity and still scored a high percentage. I think we will only get better from here.” In its inaugural season, the team earned two other first place finishes, including the JamFest Nationals in Kansas City and the COA in Branson, Mo. Ozarks final competition will be the JamFest Nationals in Hot Springs.

spring issue

The University of the Ozarks new competitive cheerleading and STUNT team started the 2015 season in impressive fashion winning first place honors at the America’s Best Texas Cheerleading Championships on the campus of UT-Arlington in February. Under Head Coach Tori Cox, Ozarks qualified for the 2015 US Finals with a first-place finish after scoring a 91.7 before minor deductions. For its first-place finish, Ozarks received a championship banner in the Level 6 International Co-Ed Cheerleading Division. Ozarks posted a building score of 41.2, a tumbling score of 27.4 and an overall

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EAGLE Insider

Alicia HANEY Ricky HERRERA New Sports Hall of Fame Members Announced

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Record-setting men’s soccer player Ricky Herrera and women’s basketball star Alicia Haney will be inducted into the University of the Ozarks Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, April 17. Herrera, a 2004 graduate and a native of Las Cruces, N.M., was a four-time American Southwest Conference All-East Division First Team pick. He is the ASC’s and school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 54. He earned All-Region status from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the Academic All-District Team twice. 18 > > >

Herrera ranks third in career points (128) and fifth in career assists (20) at Ozarks. In 2003, Herrera led the Eagles to a conference championship. Haney, a 1995 graduate and a native of Ola, Ark., played from 1991-1995 and remains the program’s all-time leader in career rebounds (892), while finishing among the top-5 in career scoring (1,239) and career assists (361). The 5-foot-10 Haney was a two-time All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference pick and made the AIC All-Freshman Team. For her career, she averaged 10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists and the program went 77-42. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Men’s Wrestling >>

University of the Ozarks

one.” In all, the Eagles went to eight competitions during the season and had a roster that included just one senior. With a solid foundation in place, Zastrow’s Eagles are primed for future success. Zastrow’s Eagles have a beautiful on-campus practice facility, complete with brand new padding and a lockeroom with individual lockers. And, a new weight room located adjacent to the wrestling facility, was opened at the beginning of the school year, assisting the team’s strength and conditioning program.

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Under the direction of Head Coach Jason Zastrow, the men’s wrestling program completed its inaugural season at the NCAA Division III Regional in Dubuque, Iowa, February 28. The Eagles competed against some of nation’s best NCAA Division III wrestlers at the event. While the Eagles didn’t advance to the national tournament, Zastrow believes the experience was an important part of the building process. “It was a good opportunity to wrestle against top-notch competition,” said Zastrow. “We just need to continue to progress and carry forward the things we learned from year

2015

Men’s Wrestling Ends Season At NCAA Division III Regional

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EAGLE Insider

Andrew CUMMINGS University Adds Indoor And Outdoor Distance Track

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The University of the Ozarks athletic department added NCAA Division III men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor distance track, it was announced in December. The men’s and women’s programs will compete in long-distance events at track and field competitions in March and April. Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach Jeremy Provence will oversee Ozarks’ newest athletic program. “This opens up the door for our cross country programs to expand and attract even more long-distance 20 > > >

runners,” said Athletic Director Jimmy Clark. “In order to build our programs, we needed to offer distance track in the winter and spring. This is a great opportunity for Coach Provence. It gives him the tools to grow the program.” Runners will compete in 800-meter, 1500-meter, 3000-meter, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races at both indoor and outdoor events against other NCAA and NAIA institutions. Ozarks will compete in the Rhodes College Invitational, Harding University Invitational and University of Central Arkansas Open in 2015. More than 11 athletes will participate in the program’s inaugural season. University of the Ozarks


www.uofoathletics.com


2015 Spring Issue

Todd Turner

www.uofoathletics.com

Bishop Bass

EAGLE Insider

University of the Ozarks Eagle Insider - Spring 2015  
University of the Ozarks Eagle Insider - Spring 2015  

University of the Ozarks Eagle Insider - Spring 2015

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