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Historic day for Austin Peay Track and Field

 

APSU Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Lady Govs - APSUNashville, TN - Don’t call it a comeback.

After entering the final day of competition at the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships sitting in seventh place, Austin Peay State University women’s track and field team vaulted into third place thanks to a monster day on the track.

Austin Peay has monster day at OVC Indoor Championships (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay has monster day at OVC Indoor Championships (APSU Sports Information)

The Lady Govs finished with 93.50 points, with 72 coming on Saturday. The third-place finish behind host Tennessee State (144 points) and Eastern Illinois (96) is the best of head coach Doug Molnar’s career and the best since Austin Peay’s 2001 team won the indoor championship.

“We weren’t worried after yesterday,” Molnar said. “We knew how many qualifiers and we knew what we could get out of people today.”

Austin Peay re-wrote the record books on Saturday, with five school marks falling.

Senior Xiamar Hudson started the record-shattering day early, posting a runner-up finish in the mile run with a 5:02.25 mark, breaking Sheena Gooding’s 2002 mark by nearly a second.

She returned in the 3000m run later in the day to snag some valuable points with a sixth-place finish, 10:21.60 mark.

“For a while it looked like CiCi would pick up the win in the mile,” Molnar said. “Then to have her come back and pick up points in the 3K was huge for us.”

Three triple jumpers brought home points for Austin Peay, with two finding the podium.

Freshman Kaylnn Pitts jumped out to an early lead thanks to her school-record 12.48m leap and held on for silver after OVC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year Jatavia Wright from SIU Edwardsville hit the 13.00m mark for the win.

Freshman Chancis Jones was right on Pitts’ heels with a 12.44m leap that earned her the bronze medal. Freshman Ashleigh Woods also tallied points for Austin Peay with a personal-best 11.97m leap.

“All three triple jumpers had huge PR’s,” Molnar said. “That’s tough to do under championship conditions. They really opened some eyes.”

Also in Saturday field event action, senior Molly Basch’s 3.05m pole vault mark placed her eighth to give the Lady Govs another point.

Sophomore Breigh Jones continued her assault on the Austin Peay record books, breaking the 400m indoor mark Saturday with a 55.27 to earn silver in the event.

Her mark is nearly six-tenths of a second better than Chiamaka Obi’s 2010 55.85 mark, and was less than three-tenths behind champion Ashontae Jackson of Tennessee State.

“Breigh and Jackson ran in different heats and were basically time-trialing against one another,” Molnar said. “That’ll be a good matchup to watch at the outdoor championships; on an eight-lane track, they’ll be right next to each other.”

Three other Lady Govs – freshman Terri Morris (fifth, personal-best 56.62), sophomore Kymmalett Ross (seventh, personal-best 57.39) and junior Maikea Davis (eighth, 59.26) also earned points for the Lady Govs in the 400m.

Davis placed fourth in the 200m with a 24.53 after yesterday’s school-record qualifying time. Jones (sixth, 24.85) and Ross (eighth, 25.27) also picked up prized points for the Lady Govs.

Junior Erika Adams broke her tie with Sherlonda Johnson’s 2006 mark in the 55m dash, placing second in the event with an even 7.00 mark; she has one year left to become the first Austin Peay athlete to run a sub-seven second 55m race. Ross added to her point total with an eighth-place, 7.56 mark.

Freshman Amia Butler came back after earning a bronze in the indoor pentathlon on Friday to place seventh in the 55m hurdles with an 8.09 mark, less than a tenth of a second from setting yet another school record.

“We looked at nine different records before the meet that we thought we had a chance at,” Molnar said. “We broke five and were close on a sixth, which tells you what kind of meet we had.”

In the final event, Jones, Ross, Davis and Morris could have coasted to a point-scoring finish; the quartet had already combined for 31 points to that point. Instead, they earned silver as a group by posting a 3:48.20 4x400m relay run to cap a remarkable weekend in the annals of Austin Peay track.


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