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Avery, Lady Govs look to continue improvement at OVC Championships, Saturday

APSU Women’s Cross Country

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Junior Janelle Avery leads the Austin Peay State University women’s cross country team as it competes in the 9:00am, Saturday, five-kilometer event at the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Cross Country Championships hosted by Tennessee Tech at Southern Hills Golf Course in Cookeville.

Avery is finishing the 2010 season with impressive efforts in the Lady Govs’ last two events. She finished 49th overall with a time of 19:23 at the Greater Louisville Classic, October 2nd, followed by an eighth-place finish at the Fast Cats Classic, October 16th, with a season-best time of 18:55. Avery will look to improve on her 31st-place finish in last season’s version of this event.

Austin Peay women's cross country team . (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)
Austin Peay women's cross country team . (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

Freshman Xiamar Richards also has improved with each eight-kilometer race, posting a season-best time of 19:20 at the Fast Cats Classic where she finished 17th overall. Freshmen Kendra Kirksey and Miranda Weed have traded third and fourth place between them at the eight-kilometer distance, both falling shy of their personal-bests at the distance in their last outing.

However, the story this season has been the gap between the Lady Govs fourth and fifth runners. Sophomore Alyssa Molnar has been the team’s fifth runner at the eight-kilometer distance and has steadily been catching the team’s fourth-place runner, cutting the gap to less than one minute at the Greater Louisville Classic. How close she runs to the team’s front four ultimately could decide the Lady Govs finish in the team championship.

The Lady Govs final three runners – freshmen Kayla Satterly, Megan Barbarotto and Shannon Christian – will be able to factor in the team championship as well with strong finishes. Barbarotto and Christian set personal-bests in their last outing while Satterly’s personal best came one race earlier at the Greater Louisville Classic.

“Janelle and Xiamar have stepped up the last couple of weeks and solidified the top couple of spots, but I wouldn’t count out Miranda or Kendra,” said APSU head coach Doug Molnar. “We are very young with three freshmen in our top five, but this is a very good bunch. We’ll go out and compete as we have all year and let the results show for themselves. We just have to keep our gap between number four and Alyssa, our fifth, as close as possible.”


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