APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University track and field looks to bring indoor season to a close on the highest possible note at the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships, hosted by Eastern Illinois.
The two-day event kicks off 9:00am, Friday, at Lantz Fieldhouse.Although beset by injury at times during indoor season, the Govs are not nearly as depleted as they were at last season’s indoor championships—where Austin Peay rallied on Day Two for a fifth-place finish—and enters the competition with a number of individual contenders vying for a top finish and the medal that goes with it.
Austin Peay is a legitimate threat to sweep the top of the podium in the pole vault; reigning OVC Field Athlete of the Week Savannah Amato owns the top four marks in the event this year, with teammates Dascha Hix and Gretchen Rosch ranking second and third, nearly four inches clear of their next closest competition.
“We feel very confident in our pole vaulters,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “As a group, that’s as much talent as we’ve ever had at that spot and they’re still getting better each time out.”
Long-time conference contenders Kaylnn Pitts and Chancis Jones have been joined by OVC Indoor Freshman of the Year Maya Perry-Grimes to give Austin Peay a trio of challengers in the long and triple jump. Pitts, who snared OVC Athlete of the Week honors for the week of February 1st, is second in the league in the triple jump (12.42m; 40-9.0) and fourth in the long jump (5.69m; 18-8.0) and seeks her not only her first gold medal but also the Governors first triple jump championship since 2002.
Perry-Grimes, meanwhile, seeks to do something the previous two Governors who earned Freshman of the Year honors were unable to accomplish—medal in their first OVC Championship appearance. The Antioch native is fifth in the triple jump (12.25m; 40-2.25), eighth in the long jump (5.57m; 18-3.25).
“There is a lot of talent in the jumps in this conference,” Molnar said. “I’d put our jumpers up against anybody. This is a great chance for them to show what they can do on a big stage.”
Another performer to watch in the field is sophomore Nia Gibbs-Francis, who sits just outside the top-three in fourth at 1.66m (5-5.25) in the high jump. Multi-sport star Sonja White will try to rise above the pack and bring home a medal in the pentathlon as well.
White ranks among the conference’s top 60m hurdles performers, joining senior Myiah Johnson, who ranks fifth (8.66); freshman Diamond Battle (seventh, 60m dash; 7.64) and junior Allysha Scott (ninth, 400m dash; 57.54) look to for a big drop this weekend, with Scott also slated for duty in the 4x400m relays.
Live results for the event can be found at www.eiupanthers.com, while the OVC Digital Network will carry coverage from the event at www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com. Pentathlon action begins 9:00am., Friday, at Lantz Fieldhouse, with field finals and track prelims beginning 2:30pm. Saturday’s final day of action kicks off at 11:00am.