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Split aids APSU Track and Field in pre-home meet tune-up

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's Track and FieldGainesville, FL – Breaking up the squad into two factions proved profitable for Austin Peay State University track and field this weekend, with half the contingent going to Gainesville for the Florida Relays and the other half heading to Cape Girardeau for the Joey Haines Invitational.

Austin Peay Track and Field does well at both events, Saturday. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Track and Field does well at both events, Saturday. (APSU Sports Information)

In Florida, junior Savannah Amato continued her stranglehold on the top spot in the Ohio Valley Conference pole vault rankings, posting a season-best 3.95m (12-11.50) to place sixth, one spot ahead of Vanderbilt’s Kristen Denk, who outdueled Amato for the top spot at Vanderbilt last week.

“Savannah had a solid day today,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “There some things she needs to work on, but she jumped 3.95m, which will move her up in the regional rankings.”

The 4x100m hurdle shuttle quartet, featuring three freshmen (Lennex WalkerDenia Hill-Tate and Kamille Dunbar) and sophomore Kaitlyn Black posted a school-record 59.81 in the event, while the regular 4x100m group of Walker, sophomores Diamond Battle and Tymeitha Tolbert and redshirt freshman Maya Perry-Grimes raced to a 46.38 mark, a season-best and second-best in the league this year behind only Tennessee Tech, which finished less than two-tenths of a second ahead of the Govs in Gainesville.

In Friday action, Austin Peay’s quartet of freshman Sabrina Richman, sophomore Amelia Thiesing, senior Allysha Scott and freshman Allana Johsnon posted a 3:47.23 in the 4x400m relay, the second-best time by an OVC quartet this season.

Molnar was impressed with the relay performances, especially in the rare hurdle shuttle and the 4x200m, as the Govs set two program records.

In the final day of the Florida Relays, Perry-Grimes posted 11.69 mark in the triple jump as the only Gov to be in action Saturday.

“We had two school records,” said Molnar. “A record in the shuttle hurdles, and that was a positive step, and we also set a school record in the 4×200. It was outstanding when you consider how many freshmen and sophomores are on those relays.”

The remainder of the squad was in Cape Girardeau this weekend for the Joey Haines Invitational, and it was the distance groups that carried the day, Friday. In the 10,000m run, sophomore Emmaculate Kiplagat placed third with a 37:18.47 mark—the third-best time in the OVC this year—while Austin Peay’s men’s cross country team joined the excursion and nearly swept the top of the podium in the men’s 10K on Friday, with Mathew Biwott (31:49.15) earning the win, followed by Wesley Gray (32:17.22) in second and Hezron Kiptoo (33:18.59) in fourth.

“I think we got a lot accomplished this weekend,” said Molnar of the team’s performance. “We were really solid in the 4×100 and the 4×400. Both of those team really got out there and did a great job, and I think that is going to set us up for the rest of the season. When you go against competition like this, it brings out the best in you, and it did this weekend. We are looking for bigger things out of this young group, and that is why we came here to get the experience of going against quality teams, and that was definitely the case.”

The Govs host their annual home event, the APSU Invitational, next weekend at Fortera Stadium.


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