Austin Peay Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Head coach Doug Molnar has acknowledged that Austin Peay State University women’s track team is better-suited to outdoor competition.
After finishing third – the best team placing during Molnar’s Austin Peay tenure – in February’s Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships, it’s fair to wonder how much higher the Lady Govs can climb this weekend when they travel to Edwardsville, Illinois for the OVC Outdoor Championships, hosted by SIU Edwardsville at Ralph Korte Stadium.Entering the weekend, 14 marks posted by Austin Peay athletes rank in the top five conference-wide in 12 different events, with an additional nine ranking inside the top-eight – the finish required for a point-scoring outing at the championships.
Last season, just 11 Austin Peay athletes scored points at the OVC Outdoor Championships and only four – senior Xiamar Hudson, juniors Erika Adams and Natalie Olberding and sophomore Breigh Jones – are still in uniform for Austin Peay.
However, an exceptionally talented freshman class has helped compile what could be the best campaign in Molnar’s Austin Peay tenure. Of the 17 individual athletes entering the weekend with top-eight rankings in at least one event, eight are competing in their first collegiate outdoor conference championship.
Jumpers Kaylnn Pitts and Brianna Kelly have to be considered contenders in their events – Pitts (12.53m) is second in the triple jump, while Kelly (1.70m) leads the conference in the high jump.
Jones didn’t truly hit her stride until after the OVC Outdoor Championships last season, finishing fourth in the 400m dash at the Charleston, Illinois-based event before embarking on a run that took her to the NCAA East Regional, the US Junior Nationals and ultimately the Junior Pan American Games in Colombia.
She leads the conference in the 400m entering the championships this year, having taken the lead from SIU Edwardsville’s Jessica Oranika two weeks ago at the Gateway Classic in a hotly-contested race that saw both favorites for the OVC crown earn personal-bests.
The Tigers’ 45.16 mark in the 4x100m is better than Austin Peay’s school-record run earlier this season at the Ole Miss Invite by more than half a second, and their 3:40.25 is nearly a full second faster than the APSU record that has stood for 12 years.
Another first-year Lady Gov has joined Adams to form a strong pair in the short sprints. Since transferring from Western Kentucky, junior Maikea Davis has obliterated the 200m dash record, which now stands at 24.04.
Meanwhile, Adams has taken the 100m dash mark for her own at 11.81, and the duo are the only teammates in the OVC ranked in the top-eight in both the 100m and 200m dashes entering the weekend.
An Austin Peay darkhorse to watch is senior pole vaulter Molly Basch. Since breaking the 11-foot barrier at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold in March, Basch has added another six inches to her best and enters the championships sixth with an 11’, 7” (3.53m) mark.
The two-day event begins 9:00am both Friday and Saturday at Korte Stadium. Tickets can be purchased at the facility’s north gate and are $10.00 for adults ($5.00 for 18-and-under) each day.
Doug Molnar talks about the Lady Govs impending trip to the OVC Outdoor Championships and the high standard set with their third-place indoor finish in February.