Austin Peay Sports Information
Murfreesboro, TN – Austin Peay State University may be tough to tame on the track this season.
A Lady Gov won all four races shorter than a mile, part of an excellent end to the first weekend of indoor competition that closed out the pre-Christmas portion of Austin Peay’s schedule at the MT Christmas Invitational, hosted by Middle Tennessee at the Murphy Center.Junior Kymmalett Ross smoked the competition in both the 55m and the 200m dashes, pulling off the win in both events. Her 7.12 put her one-hundredth of a second in front of senior Erika Adams in the 55m, and her 24.63 mark in the 200m led an Austin Peay sweep of the top three ahead of senior Maikea Davis (24.92) and junior Breigh Jones (24.94). Both marks were personal-bests for Ross.
“She (Ross) and Erika didn’t run head-to-head in the 55, and both won their heats,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “It was almost like a time-trial. Ross just had a fantastic day for us.”
Jones would not be overshadowed, and won the 400m with a 55.29 mark that outpaced the nearest competition by nearly seventh-tenths of a second. That mark was just two-hundredths of a second behind her school-record time at last season’s Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships.
After posting a school record in the 1000m event at Vanderbilt, Thursday, senior Jessica Gray continued an eye-opening weekend by winning the 800m run with a 2:16.54 mark. Her run shaved nearly two seconds off her personal best.
“Jessica ran really well,” Molnar said. “It’s nice to open the season with a personal best. She was totally in control the whole time and may have been able to open it up a little bit more.”
The Lady Govs got field victories from a pair of newcomers, with freshmen Gretchen Rosch taking the pole vault with a 3.20m mark, while transfer Michella Carter hit 12.34m to win the shot put comfortably.
“That’s two meets in a row where Carter has been right at her personal-best,” Molnar said. “It’s nice to see her pick up a win here. She’s got plenty of room for improvement.”
Austin Peay got three runner-up showings on the track, led by sophomore Amia Butler‘s 8.16 in the 55m hurdles – less than a tenth of a second off her personal best – and freshman Sarah Carpenter‘s 10:56.71 run in the 3000m event.
In Saturday’s final event, Austin Peay narrowly missed a win the 4×440 yard relay. Jones, Davis, sophomore Terri Morris and freshman Sonja White fought to the finish line against the Middle Tennessee quartet, finishing four-hundredths of a second behind a Blue Raider squad that finished third at the Sun Belt Indoor Championships a year ago before moving to Conference USA.
Saturday’s action concludes the pre-Christmas portion of Austin Peay’s indoor schedule. The Lady Govs return to action January 16th-17th, 2015 at the Niswonger Invitational, hosted by East Tennessee State.
“Very pleased with where we are right now,” Molnar said. “On the track, we were really good almost across the board – (sophomore) Unjula Lester had a 24-second personal-best in the mile, which is almost unheard of.
“Now comes the hardest part; we talked to the girls and we have to work hard during the break so we can take care of business after the break.”