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Savannah Amato earns gold as APSU Track and Field finishes strong at OVC Indoor Championships

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's Track and Field - Austin Peay State UniversityCharleston, IL – Austin Peay State University track and field got a number of top marks, particularly in the pole vault, to close out the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships at Lantz Fieldhouse.

Overall, the Govs finished fifth with 70 points—one point behind Eastern Kentucky (71) for fourth.

Austin Peay Track and Field places fifth at OVC Indoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Track and Field places fifth at OVC Indoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)

Host Eastern Illinois (125) was the women’s champion, with Tennessee Tech (111) and Tennessee State (110) rounding out the top-three.

Savannah Amato was the big winner for the Govs on Saturday—the sophomore from Delaware, Ohio, picked up her second gold medal in the pole vault, posting conference-best 3.89m (12-9.0) to take the top spot; teammate Dascha Hix joined her on the podium at 3.74m (12-3.25) to take silver, while junior Gretchen Rosch just missed making it a sweep of the podium, taking fourth place at 3.44m (11-3.50).

“A sweep would’ve been great,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “We’re so proud of how Gretchen battled all day, tried some different poles, but kept getting after it. Once she’s used to the bigger poles she’ll give us a chance to sweep at outdoors.”

Senior Kaylnn Pitts led a trio of Govs who secured points in the triple jump. Pitts’ school indoor record 12.64m (41-5.75) earned her silver, while Chancis Jones (12.19m; 40-0.0) and OVC Freshman of the Year Maya Perry-Grimes (11.87m; 38-11.50) finished sixth and eighth, respectively, to pick up points for APSU.

Two Governors who narrowly missed the podium were Diamond Battle and Myiah Johnson. After setting the school 60m record Friday, Battle’s 7.62 in the 60m dash put her in fourth, eight-hundredths of a second from a bronze medal, in Saturday’s final.

Johnson’s margin was even smaller. The senior’s 8.60 60m hurdle mark placed her in fourth as well, four-hundredths of a second off the medal stand.

“Both Diamond and Myiah did a great job,” Molnar said. “Diamond came back and was within an eyelash of medaling as a freshman in the 60. She’s going to be a good one. Myiah ran her best two races this weekend; she was right there at the end with a chance. Fantastic job.”

Battle also picked up a point in the 200m (25.73; eighth) for the Govs, but it was the meet’s final event that may have been the biggest surprise—certainly one of the most delightful for the coaching staff. With Mallory Crawford running anchor in her first-ever OVC race, the senior led the Govs to a bronze-medal winning, third-place finish, securing not only six crucial points but bronze medals for Crawford, Allysha Scott, Amelia Thiesing and Terri Morris.

“That’s the way to end a meet,” Molnar said. “They’ve been beat up all year, sick and injured, and then Mallory anchors her first OVC race as a senior to bronze. That’s something special and something we’ll remember for awhile.”

The Govs return to action March 11th at the JSU Gamecock Opener—marking the start of the outdoor season for Molnar’s squad.

“I think, after a bit of a rough day yesterday, they stuck together,” Molnar said. “We talked about coming back with a good attitude and taking action, and they did that. We’re built as an outdoor team; with the health issues we had I was pleased with our finish.”


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