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Lady Govs travel to Louisville seeking to close gap

 

APSU Women’s Cross Country

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s cross country team will look to rebound from a sub-par performance a week ago when it competes at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic hosted by the Greater Louisville Sports Commission for the 11:45am, Saturday, five-kilometer women’s blue race at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park.

Freshman Xiamar Richards rebounded from a disappointing finish at Western Kentucky to lead the Lady Govs at the Memphis Twilight, cutting more than a minute off her five-kilometer time. Freshman Kendra Kirksey also made a big move, finishing as the Lady Govs No. 2 runner while also improving her five-kilometer time by more than a minute. However, Austin Peay did not have the services of junior Janelle Avery who missed the Memphis meet, leaving a significant gap in the team’s front pack.

Freshman Kendra Kirksey was the Lady Govs No. 2 runner at last week's Memphis Twilight. The Lady Govs travel to Louisville, Saturday. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

Freshman Kendra Kirksey was the Lady Govs No. 2 runner at last week's Memphis Twilight. The Lady Govs travel to Louisville, Saturday. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

“We’ve talked about being very aggressive in our first mile and keeping our two-mile split closer to the first mile time,” said Austin Peay head coach cross country Doug Molnar. “We will have Janelle Avery back this week and she is really a stabilizing factor for our young runners led by Xiamar Richards, Miranda Weed, and Kendra Kirksey. The other goal for us is to close down the gap between our fourth and fifth runners and that will be on the shoulders of Alyssa Molnar. She’ll need to really work her second mile to accomplish what we expect.”

This meet will be the largest the women’s team will compete in this season with 107 teams from all levels of competition entered in the event’s three races. The Lady Govs are seeded into the day’s second race where they will meet 11 Division I opponents, including regionally-ranked Illinois State (Midwest No. 12) and Ohio Valley Conference opponents Morehead State and Southeast Missouri.

“This will be a good test as there are some outstanding teams in the meet and a large field of more than 1000 women competing,” said Molnar. “We’ll have 40 teams in our race alone. It will be something to see.”


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