Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) track and field team will compete for the 2020 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships, beginning Wednesday at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama.
For the second year in a row, the Indoor Championships will be take place at a neutral site, with the league serving as host.
The Govs will join the rest of the league in attempting to dethrone two-time defending OVC Indoor Champion Tennessee Tech.
An impressive array of Austin Peay State University track athletes will give the Govs a leg up in the standings. Entering the meet, three Govs—Kenisha Phillips, Sabrina Richman and Kyra Wilder—occupy seven spots in the top-eight of the 60m, 200m and 400m dashes.
Based on their current standing, the APSU Govs would be in line to earn five medals and 42 points, with Phillips among the favorites in all three disciplines and Richman likely to challenge in both the 200m and 400m dashes.
Junior Lennex Walker looks to defend her 60m hurdle gold medal from 2019 as the league-leader heading into the 2020 event at 8.63. Kamille Dunbar ranks fifth in the league in the event, less than a tenth of a second from a top-three seed.
Dunbar and Rayven Thomasson will be among the 16 competitors scheduled to vie for the pentathlon title. If either were to snap up much-needed points (Dunbar ranks seventh in the event), it would be a huge boon for the Govs.
Another wild card on the track is sophomore Mikaela Smith—she currently sits ninth in the 800m run, but she’s less than a second from a top-seven spot and could generate points for the Govs with a good performance. She’ll also likely be in the blocks for the Govs in the distance medley relay, an event where Austin Peay State University currently ranks sixth but is less than 10 seconds from overtaking the two squads ahead of it.
Austin Peay State University’s 4x400m relay team—which has featured Phillips, Richman, Wilder and Allana Johnson for most of the season—has a chance at gold. The Govs already defeated Murray State, the top-ranked quartet in the league, by nearly four seconds two weeks ago at the Bulldog Open to close the season gap on the Racers to less than three-tenths of a second.
The APSU Govs may still have to wait to regain Savannah Amato and Dascha Hix in the pole vault for outdoor season, but both Morgan Bradley and Karlijn Schouten have a chance to represent the Govs on the podium. Schouten’s 3.85m mark at the Redhawk Open last weekend vaulted her into sole possession of first place in the league, while Bradley’s 3.60m mark has her fifth but looking to close the gap between her and a spot on the medal stand.
Walker could challenge for a medal in the triple jump, where she currently ranks fourth, while Jessica Kelley (ninth, long jump) and Denia Hill-Tate (fifth, high jump) could bolster these efforts with strong days.
A huge factor for theAPSU Govs’ fortunes will be how many extra points can be accrued in the throws. Both Kori McDaniel (sixth) and Jackie Verseman (ninth) are contenders to grab points for the Govs in the shot put; if the duo, who rank 13th and 16th, respectively, in the weight throw, can pick up points in that event, or if freshmen Maria Hillyard and Shyanna Chapman make a leap, it could help put the Govs over the top in Birmingham.
Both days of competition will be televised on ESPN+. Live scoring will be provided at CFPITiming.com, and a complete recap of the days’ events will be available after competition at LetsGoPeay.com.