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Young stars shine for APSU Track and Field to close out OVC Indoor Championships

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's Track and FieldCharleston, IL – Places on the podium for freshman Lennex Walker and sophomore Tymeitha Tolbert highlighted the second day of competition for Austin Peay State University track and field at the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships, hosted by Eastern Illinois at Lantz Fieldhouse.

Austin Peay Track and Field has good showing at OVC Indoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Track and Field has good showing at OVC Indoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay finished seventh overall with 50 total points, just six behind Southeast Missouri. Tennessee Tech won the event with 137 points, outpacing Eastern Kentucky (106) and host Eastern Illinois (78).

“These guys did a wonderful job,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “We were relentless all weekend, and with a young group that’s really good to see, that they can bounce back and not get down.”

60m Hurdles

First up for the Govs on Saturday was the 60m hurdles, and with freshmen Lennex Walker and Denia Hill-Tate in the mix for the finals, Austin Peay had two chances to pick up big points.

Walker snagged her first medal, a bronze, in OVC Championship competition, finishing third with an 8.76 mark. She’s the first Governor to medal in the short hurdles during the OVC Indoor games since Amanda McCoy won the 55m hurdle event at the 2010 OVC Indoor Championships.

Hill-Tate, meanwhile, placed sixth, lowering her personal-best to 8.90.

“We’ve seen how good Lennex can be,” Molnar said. “She’s got the potential to be one of the best. Denia has put up a personal-best three straight times now, which is just unbelievable for a freshman hurdler. She’s truly getting better each time out.”

60m Dash

Austin Peay’s other piece of hardware for the day came courtesy of sophomore Tymeitha Tolbert in the 60m dash. The Louisville native’s school-record 7.55 mark lowered the mark another two-hundredths of a second, which was set in last year’s OVC Indoor prelims by sophomore Diamond Battle and equaled by Tolbert during Friday’s qualifying round.

Tolbert’s bronze marks the fourth time in five seasons that Austin Peay has placed a student-athlete on the medal stand of the 55/60m events during the indoor championships; she takes a place on that list alongside longtime standouts Kymmalett Ross (gold, 2016) and Erika Adams (bronze, 2015; silver, 2014).

“We know she has this kind of ability,” Molnar said. “We knew if we could keep her healthy, she is this type of performer.”

Battle also secured two points for the Govs, finishing seventh in the finals with a 7.80 mark, one-hundredth of a second behind Eastern Illinois’ Darneisha Spann.

400m Dash

Two Govs secured much-needed points in the finals of the 400m event, with freshman Sabrina Richman (seventh, 58.01) and sophomore Amelia Thiesing (eighth, 58.24) each reaching the finals and putting up big times in the process for the Govs.

“This was just Sabrina’s fifth meet with us,” Molnar said. “She was winning her heat and just faded a little over the last 25 meters. She has the ability. She’s going to be really good for us in outdoor.”

Relays

In Saturday’s final event, Austin Peay sent out a 4x400m squad featuring Thiesing, Richman, freshman Allana Johnson and sophomore Allysha Scott—the same quartet which had secured Austin Peay’s season-best 3:55.93 mark at the Thundering Herd Invitational in Huntington, West Virginia, January 27th.

With Thiesing leading off and Scott running the anchor leg, Austin Peay posted a blistering 3:55.03 mark in the event, finishing third in Section Two and fifth overall to add four points to the team tally.

“We were hoping to maybe get third out of that group and they gave it a heck of a run,” Molnar said. “If we were in the other heat, we would’ve been head-to-head with the two teams ahead of us, but that’s the way it goes in indoor sometimes.”

The Govs will take a week to unwind from the grueling indoor schedule before picking back up with the beginning of the outdoor slate, March 9th, with the Coastal Carolina Invitational in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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