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APSU Track and Field bring 2017 season to a close with more medals at OVC Tournament

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's Track and FieldOxford, AL – With parity at an all-time high in the Ohio Valley Conference and faced with one of the toughest fields the league has produced in years, Austin Peay State University track and field battled down to the final event at the 2017 OVC Outdoor Championships at Choccolocco Park, Saturday, bringing four more medals back to Clarksville Tennessee.

The Governors final tally of 87.33 points placed them fifth—the fourth consecutive year Austin Peay posted top-five team finishes in both the OVC Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Austin Peay Track and Field comes in fifth at OVC Outdoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Track and Field comes in fifth at OVC Outdoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)

Eastern Illinois (128 points) took the team title, holding off Tennessee State (102).

There was little separation between the middle of the field—third place (Tennessee Tech, 91 points) and sixth (Eastern Kentucky, 87) were separated by just four points, with Murray State (89.5) and the Govs between them.

“I think we squeezed just about everything we were going to get out of this orange,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “It’s the most even this conference has ever been. We’ve never had a meet like this. This conference keeps getting better and better and it’s more balanced than ever on the women’s side.”

Austin Peay’s jumpers did what they’ve done for years now—reached the podium in OVC Championship competition. Kaylnn Pitts capped her 2017 with a silver in the triple jump (12.54m; 41-1.75), with Chancis Jones just behind her for the bronze (12.50m; 41-0.25), securing a personal-best in the process.

A bit of controversy enveloped the 100m dash final—controversy that both helped and hurt Austin Peay. Thinking a false start was being called, freshman Tymeitha Tolbert stood but did not immediately take off at the sound of the gun, finishing eighth—however, teammate Garielle Netter jetted down the track to secure a silver-medal winning, personal-best 11.86 finish.

“Netter did a great job,” Molnar said. “We’re so excited for her. She was coming along all year and she broke out a bit today. We expect big things for her as her career progresses.

“Looking back, that false start/not false start really hurt us; when it wasn’t called, she (Tolbert) got caught a little flat-footed and I think she’s good for no worse than third if that hadn’t happened.”

Tolbert and Netter teamed with Diamond Battle and Sonja White to gain a fifth-place finish and four crucial points in the 4x100m relay with a 46.93 mark.

Another Gov who found the podium was senior Myiah Johnson, who capped her Austin Peay career by knocking another tick off the 100m hurdles record. Her 13.67 mark, which eclipsed the standard she set two weeks ago at the Memphis Invitational by one-hundredth of a second, earned her bronze.

Senior Terri Morris and freshman Amelia Thiesing boosted the Govs efforts on the season’s final day in a pair of events. Morris just missed the podium in the 400m dash, finishing fourth with a 56.38 mark, while Thiesing added a point with an eighth-place, 58.50 run; the duo also grabbed a fourth-place showing in the day’s final event, teaming with seniors Mallory Crawford and Hanna Wise for a 3:52.11 run in the 4x400m relay.

“We fought and clawed all day long,” Molnar said. “You can’t say enough about seniors like Terri Morris, who just kept fighting back. We’ll miss this group of seniors.

“We’ve got a solid base coming back, and we’ve got some good recruits coming in. We’ve got some kids that can come in and score right off the bat like this year’s freshman group did. (2017 OVC Indoor Freshman of the Year) Maya Perry-Grimes didn’t get to compete in this and she would’ve been worth quite a few points by herself this weekend.”

Although this concludes the team portion of the 2017 season for the Govs, the show will likely go on for some Austin Peay track and field standouts. Pending declarations and other results, it’s likely that Pitts, Jones and Savannah Amato will make the field of 48 at the 2017 NCAA East Preliminary in Lexington, Kentucky with Johnson and Dascha Hix less than 15 dropouts or scratches from earning a nod.


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