Clarksville, Ark.-The third annual University of the Ozarks OZZY awards took place Sunday, May 5 in the Rogers Conference Center where numerous student-athletes and teams were honored for their outstanding athletic and academic seasons.
Headlining the award winners were the 2018-2019 Athletes of the Year Nathan Rankin and Hailey Ostrander. Rankin, a sophomore member of the cross country, wrestling and track team, is now a two-time recipient. Rankin was the first cross country runner in the school's NCAA III era to qualify for Nationals. In cross country, Rankin was a member of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region Team, USTFCCCA All-Academic Team and American Southwest Conference (ASC) All-Academic Team. Additionally, he was named ASC Runner of the Week and All-Conference. In wrestling, he was All-Conference, an individual conference champion, a member of the Southeast Conference All-Academic Team and posted a 24-5 record. In track, he garnered All-Conference honors. Ostrander, a senior point guard and shortstop from Alma, Ark., was named All-Conference in basketball after averaging 13.0 points per game and hitting 53-of-162 from three-point line. In softball, she hit .320 with 32 hits and 16 runs while owning a .956 fielding percentage. The multi-sport standout earned All-Conference in softball.
The ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor honors went to women's cross country runner and track athlete Hannah Smith and men's soccer player Thomas Ross.
Athletic department winners on the night, voted on by the athletic staff, included:
Top Record-Breaking Performance: Michael Harris, Cross Country and Track
Breakthrough Athlete of the Year: Corey Muniz, Wrestling
Female Freshman of the Year: Paige Lee, Softball
Male Freshman of the Year: Truman Hensley, Soccer
Female Newcomer of the Year: Shelby Skaggs, Clay Target
Male Newcomer of the Year: Jerhett Lee, Wrestling
Best Game: Men's Soccer win versus nationally-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor
Team of the Year: Women's Basketball
Comeback Athlete of the Year: Chase Edwards, Baseball
American Southwest Conference Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor: Hannah Smith, women's cross country and track athlete and Thomas Ross, men's soccer player
2018-2019 Athletes of the Year: Hailey Ostrander (softball, women's basketball) and Nathan Rankin (cross country, wrestling and track)