Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s cross-country team enters Saturday’s Ohio Valley Conference Championship race with a chance at program history.Seeking their first top-five team finish since 1999, a veteran Lady Govs squad has an opportunity to be near the top at the end of Saturday’s 5,000m race at Eagle Trace Golf Course. Morehead State has the honor of hosting this season’s event.
All discussion of Lady Govs cross-country begins with senior Xiamar Richards.
The Clarksville native, who has finished in the top three in each of her last four events, enters the weekend with back-to-back 10th-place finishes at the conference championships to her credit and seeks a top-seven finish that would earn her first-team all-conference honors for the first time in her illustrious Lady Govs career.
The onus won’t be place solely on Richards; the Lady Govs have a deep squad behind her that have had success throughout the 2013 campaign. A trio of seniors – Kendra Kirksey, Chantelle Grey and Kim Dominguez – have combined for six top-10 finishes this season and six other spots in the top-30, providing a wealth of talent behind Richards at the top.
Freshman Molly Jordan has consistently been the Lady Govs’ No. 5 runner over the course of the season, and broker her school-record in the two-mile event at the Front Runner Invitational two weeks ago. Jordan has been recovering from a nagging hip issue but head coach Doug Molnar expects her to be close to 100 percent this weekend.
Junior transfer Jessica Gray has come on strong in recent meets and has forced her way into the mix for a top-five scoring spot. Sophomore Alexis Eldridge and freshman Unjala Lester are also candidates to snag some points for the Lady Govs.
The race for the conference championship will not conclude the Lady Govs season – Molnar plans to take at least a partial squad to the NCAA South Regionals, November 15th, in Tuscaloosa, AL at Harry Pritchett Running Park.