Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University sent over 1,100 graduates out into the world May 9th with its Spring Commencement, including 44 student-athletes in that total, but that doesn’t end some unfinished work for some of the Governors and Lady Govs.
The baseball team, several women’s track and field performers and men’s golfer Marco Iten are still representing the university — either in NCAA tournament events, or still working toward marking their respective fields.
Iten is already in the NCAA men’s golf tournament field, after earning the individual medalist honors in the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference chsmpionships, and will participating in the Auburn Regional on May 15th through May 17th at the Auburn University Club.
The Niderlatt, Switzerland native has put together an outstanding spring season and was a solid chance to advancing to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships on May 23rd through May 28th at the Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, KS, being ranked as the 89th best individual collegiate golfer by GolfStat.com.
For the Lady Govs track and field, which fell just 7.5 points short of winning the OVC Outdoor Track and Field Championship, it’s about individuals lowering times, or field participants increasing distances to qualify for a berth in the NCAA East Regional on May 29th through May 31st in Jacksonville, FL.
Sophomore middle district runner Breigh Jones looks to make it two years in a row making the regional field in the 400 meter dash –currently ranking 36th in the East Region.
Freshman Terri Morris, with her time at the OVC’s has a spot in the US Junior Nationals in the 400 meter – just four-tenth of a second back of the time that got Jones into the regional last year.
Another freshman, Kaylnn Pitts is on the verge of a regional spot after breaking the school’s 14-year old record in the triple jump, but placing her 32nd overall in the region qualifying.
Others still in the hunt for a regional berth are senior distance runner Xiamar Hudson, junior Maikea Davis in the 200 meter, Jessica Gray in the 800 meter, freshman Chancis Jones in the triple jump, as well as a couple or relay teams still having a shot at making the regional.
Austin Peay will have one more scheduled meet – the Georgia Tech Invitational on May 16th and May 17th – to make one final push to earn a slot in the regional.
Finally, the Govs baseball team has five regular season games, as of Monday (May 12th) to be played – including four of those being OVC contests, with work to be done to make the post-season field in Jackson, TN.
The Govs enter the May 12th game versus the University of Tennessee Martin a half-game out of the sixth and final spot in the tournament field – percentage points behind Eastern Illinois University.
Austin Peay will needing a win against the Skyhawks followed by at least two wins versus SIU Edwardsville the following weekend to not miss the OVC tournament since the 2010 season.
It won’t be easy, but coach Gary McClure and his Governors have only missed the tournament three times in the past 17 seasons — they know how to get there.