APSU Sports Information
Nashville, TN – Underrated? Overlooked? Probably not anymore.
An Austin Peay State University track and field team that battled injury, illness and inconsistency throughout the 2016 season and entered the weekend under the radar righted the ship at the perfect moment, securing a third-place team finish at the 2016 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships.
It’s the third straight season that Austin Peay has finished in the top-three at the OVC Outdoor Championships.The Governors tallied 81 points, behind only champion Eastern Illinois (163) and host Tennessee State (144.5). Southeast Missouri (79 points) and SIU Edwardsville (72) were close to the Governors down to the last events, while Jacksonville State (65), Murray State (65), Tennessee Tech (59.5), Eastern Kentucky (52), Belmont (32) and Morehead State (5) rounded out the results.
The Governors got an early boost thanks to a silver-medal winning run in the 4x100m relays, Saturday’s opening track event. Senior Kymmalett Ross just edged Eastern Illinois’ Darneisha Spann at the line, giving the Governors eight crucial points thanks to a 46.05 mark—and medals for herself, sophomore Sonja White and seniors Breigh Jones and LaMontra Robinson.
Ross would later grab a bronze in the 100m dash, posting another sub-12 second mark (11.99) and losing out on silver to Tennessee State’s Clairwin Dameus by four-thousandths of a second. She just missed another trip to the podium after finishing fourth in the 200m dash (24.27).
Terri Morris battled on a tough day for her, earning bronze in the 400m dash (55.28) to pace a trio of Governors in that event—Jones (55.77) finished just off the podium in fourth, while sophomore Allysha Scott earned three points with a sixth-place, 56.63 run.
After fighting a hamstring injury and other ailments throughout the afternoon, she ran the anchor leg that earned Austin Peay’s quartet of Morris, Ross, Jones and Scott a long sought-after gold in the event—and earned crucial extra points that ultimately proved to be the difference for Austin Peay.
The win earned Austin Peay its first 4x400m relay gold since 2000.
Despite having no jumpers in the top-10 in the event entering the weekend, Austin Peay was able to snag six crucial points courtesy of juniors Kaylnn Pitts (fifth, 12.20m) and Chancis Jones (eighth, 12.01m), while a third Governor—freshman Keyondria Ross—finished just outside the top-eight (ninth, 11.74m).
Junior Amia Butler grabbed a couple of points for the Govs with a seventh-place finish in the heptathlon, aggregating 4052 points over the grueling two-day, seven-discipline event.
Junior Myiah Johnson (fifth, 13.96) and White (eighth, 14.38) combined for five points in the 100m hurdles—the third season in a row Austin Peay has put two hurdlers in the 100m final.
Although this event wraps the 2016 season for the Governors as a team, the party may not be over yet for some. Freshman Savannah Amato improved her odds for a berth in the 2016 NCAA East Preliminary with her gold medal-winning 4.04m (13′ 3.0″) mark on Day One, while Morris (400m) and the 4x400m find themselves on the bubble, pending other results this weekend and potential declarations.
The 2016 NCAA East Preliminary field is scheduled to be announced May 19th.
Doug Molnar’s APSU track team rallied for a third-place finish at the 2016 OVC Outdoor Championships