Lake Norman & Mooresville

Osment headed to NCAA national championships

Davidson distance runner Erin Osment, right, and qualified for the NCAA national championships, to be held June 11, 2015, in Eugene, Ore.
Davidson distance runner Erin Osment, right, and qualified for the NCAA national championships, to be held June 11, 2015, in Eugene, Ore. COURTESY DANIEL PETTY

Erin Osment has spent her senior season with Davidson’s women’s track team improving personal bests and setting school records. But her latest performance put Osment atop the Wildcats’ record books again and gives her one more race to run.

Osment finished 11th in the women’s 10,000-meter run at the NCAA Division I Eastern Regional meet in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 28, putting her in the field for this weekend’s NCAA national championships, which begin June 11 in Eugene, Ore.

Osment becomes the first Wildcats’ women’s track athlete to make it to the nationals since 2007, when high jumper Kristen Meister qualified.

Osment, a native of Atlanta, Ga., posted a time of 34 minutes, 27.86 seconds – an improvement of more than nine seconds from her previous personal best (and Davidson record) of 34:36.74, set at the Atlantic 10 championship meet in Fairfax, Va., on May 2.

“I was definitely looking to race as hard as I could, so I was very happy with that time, that result,” said Osment, the A-10’s women’s track performer of the year. “I was happy to see any improvement at all. Getting a chance to compete this week was just a cherry on top.”

Seeded 28th out of the 48 runners entered in the Eastern Regional, Osment and Wildcats director of track and field Jen Straub had a game plan for the women’s 10K to finish in the top 12, the cut line for qualifying for the NCAA nationals.

“We stuck to the plan, but very early into the race, she decided to execute that plan,” Straub said. “We knew it was going to be a very fast race up front, so I told her to tuck herself in between 10th and 14th place and stay in the middle of that pack for at least the first 3K.

“When the break occurred, she had to remain very focused on not losing her place between 10th and 14th. There was a little bit of movement, but she maintained her place.”

Osment said “I was so focused on the race and competing, I had no idea what the time would be. When I saw what it was, I was really happy.”

According to Straub, by qualifying for the NCAA nationals, Osment has earned honorable mention All-American status – again, the first Wildcats track athlete to do so since Meister in 2007.

A top 16 finish at the women’s 10K would put her into second-team All-American status, while a top eight finish would make Osment a first-team All-American.

“It’s definitely a whole new level of racing,” Osment said. “But I’m excited, and really looking forward to the opportunity to put myself in a race with the best athletes in the country. I’m looking forward to competing with them, and enjoying the experience.”

Four on all-A10 teams

Davidson’s baseball team, which recently completed its first season in the Atlantic 10, had four players named to the all-conference teams.

First baseman David Daniels and outfielder Lee Miller were named to the all-A10 first team, and second baseman Sam Foy was named to the second team. In addition, shortstop Alec Acosta was named to the league’s all-rookie team.

Daniels, a senior, finished in the top five in the A10 in five categories – slugging percentage (.623), on-base percentage (.454), home runs (11), double plays (35) and putouts (430). He also hit .355 with 40 RBIs.

Miller, a junior, was third in the league with a .368 batting average, and also finished among the top 10 in six other categories, including hits (68), doubles (19) and RBIs (51).

Foy, also a junior, led the A10 in assists during league games (83). He also was third on the team in hitting (.330), with 32 runs scored, 64 hits and 29 RBIs.

Acosta started every game for Davidson at shortstop this season, hitting .299 with 28 runs scored, 58 hits and 33 RBIs.

Wildcats earn NWCA award

Davidson’s wrestling team was named one of the nation’s top academic programs by the National Wresting Coaches Association.

The Wildcats had a team grade-point average (GPA) of 3.114, putting them 19th in the nation, the first time that Davidson’s wrestlers finished in the top 20.

Eastern Michigan led the nation with a 3.382 GPA, followed by Harvard (3.372), American (3.358), Gardner-Webb (3.352) and Brown (3.328).

“I’m proud of these guys,” coach Bob Patnesky said in a prepared release. “To be ranked in the top 30 is a testament to their work ethic and dedication in the classroom. Achieving such a high team-wide GPA is a goal our guys strive for every year, and at a school like Davidson, it’s quite the accomplishment.”

Bill Kiser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Bill? Email him at bkisercltobs@gmail.com.

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