Austin Peay Sports Information
Jacksonville, FL – Sophomore Kaylnn Pitts just missed becoming the latest Austin Peay State University track and field athlete to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, finishing 14th overall in the triple jump at the 2015 NCAA East Preliminary at Hodges Stadium.Coming out of Flight Three and seeking a top-12 finish to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Pitts got out to a strong start with a 12.69m (41′ 7.75″) leap that positioned her in the top 10 overall after one attempt.
That was the fourth-best opening attempt by any athlete in Saturday’s competition and placed her eighth after one jump.
Unfortunately, she was unable to build upon that foundation, hitting 12.51m (41′ 0.50″) on her second try and fouling on her final attempt. She finished fourth out of Flight Three athletes behind Cincinnati’s Rebecka Abrahamsson (sixth overall, 12.92m), Eastern Michigan’s Dace’ Dreimane (ninth, 12.85m) and an Ohio Valley Conference foe in Tennessee State’s Amber Hughes (13th, 12.77m).
“She was excited and ready today,” said assistant coach Valerie Brown, in Florida for the event. “She had a lot of family here and had a ton of support. If she had been able to get her legs under her on that last jump, it was going to be a monster.”
Pitts finished ahead of both Northwestern State’s Porsha Thomas (34th, 12.18m) and Clemson’s Anasterasia Terrell (who fouled all three of her attempts), the only two athletes to qualify with better marks than the Woonsocket, RI native. She improved her regional standings two spots overall after posting the 16th-best qualifying mark, and finished her preliminary appearance with better marks than seven athletes who qualified ahead of her.
She was the final athlete to compete for Austin Peay at this weekend’s event, hosted by North Florida. Junior Breigh Jones (53.63) finished 28th in the 400m, Thursday, while Pitts (26th, 5.85m) and sophomore Chancis Jones (30th, 5.79m) competed in Friday’s long jump event.
“Breigh was so successful in conference but had such a short time to rest between that event and regionals this year,” Brown said. “Even though she had her season-best, she looked more tired this year. For Chancis, being at this type of meet was great for her. She was disappointed not to advance, but it’s part of the process and she’ll be back.”
That will wrap the season for Pitts, who earned OVC Female Co-Field Athlete of the Year honors in just her second season in Clarksville, and for the Lady Govs track team as well. With an abundance of talent returning in 2015-16 – including all three of Austin Peay’s NCAA East competitors this season – head coach Doug Molnar and his staff have a lot to build on for next season.
“I think next year will be a great year,” Brown said. “They were disappointed, but that’s part of the process to develop the hunger that champions have. They needed some disappointment to get hungry again.”