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Indoor Track and Field Championships place urgency on Lady Govs track and Field

APSU Track and Field

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – It all comes down to this for Austin Peay State University women’s track and field team; the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship beginning with field events at 3:00pm, Friday, at Eastern Illinois’ Lantz Arena.

The Lady Govs finished fourth last year, the team’s best finish since 2001. That strong placement was largely due to Austin Peay’s prowess in the field events. Three top-five finishes in the pole vault, along with then-freshman Leigha Tolliver finishing second in the long jump and third in the triple jump made up a majority of the Lady Govs’ 72 points.

APSU Track and Field. (Photo Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)
APSU Track and Field. (Photo Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

This year, head coach Doug Molnar’s team will depend on success in the track events. While gaining high finishing marks is the priority, Molnar has stressed the importance of running each race like it may be the last. After all, a failure to qualify in the prelim races means no chance in the finals.

“The first day is really the key to the meet,” Molnar said. “For us, it’s all about the jumps and qualifying. We have to get as many points as possible in those events and the name of the game is qualifying. We have to run the prelims like they are finals; it’s one-and-done – run fast or sit in the stands.”

Leigha TolliverTolliver returns for the Lady Govs at the long and triple jumps; joined by junior Keyvia Davis and sophomore Cenitra Hudson. Davis has began to return to her 2008 form, jumping 5.54m at the SIU Saluki Open in January. Tolliver holds the OVC’s fifth-best long jump mark at 5.55m, set last week at SEMO’s Redhawk Invitational. Hudson, meanwhile, has struggled since APSU school-record 12.45m triple jump in early January.

“The long and high jumps open the first day,” Molnar said. Those are two of our big events and important to get those points on Day One.”

Other Friday events include the weight throw and finals for the distance medley relay. Austin Peay’s DMR team has been showing consistent improvement from race to race and Molnar believes this squad has a chance to challenge the school record (12:31.79) set by the 2001 team.

Chiamaka ObiSaturday’s schedule consists mostly of track events, with the shot put, triple jump and pole vault set to kick off the day. Of course, Molnar will be expecting senior Chiamaka Obi to do well in the 400-meter and 200-meter dash. Obi’s 400-meter time (56.75) is the league’s fifth-best. Hudson will run the 60-meter dash, while Tolliver highlights three Lady Govs in the 60-meter hurdles.

Former Lady Govs basketball player and fifth-year senior Nicole Jamen will be throwing the shot put for the second time in her track and field career. She made her debut, last week, at the Redhawks Invite throwing at 10.61m for a 10th-place finish.

Cenitra Hudson“This is a weekend we always look forward to,” Molnar said. “It’s the climax of the indoor season. We’ll have to pick it up a notch as Eastern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Eastern Kentucky will all be in the mix. This should be interesting as the OVC has really gotten tougher and stronger the last few years.

Host Eastern Illinois will have live stats available throughout the meet at www.sidearmstats.com/eiu/track. Visit www.LetsGoPeay.com for full recaps and results following each day.


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