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APSU Track and Field heads to Charleston for the OVC Outdoor Championships

 

APSU Women's Track and FieldClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University track and field team sees its stay at the 2021 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships get underway Thursday, May 13th, in Charleston, Illinois.

Austin Peay State University Track and Field set for OVC Outdoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Track and Field set for OVC Outdoor Championships. (APSU Sports Information)

Eastern Illinois will host the event at O’Brien Field; the Panthers have not hosted the OVC’s outdoor championships since 2007.

A year ago, Austin Peay State University’s aspirations for an OVC Outdoor title to go with its 2020 indoor team championship were foiled by COVID-19 Coronavirus.

The APSU Govs seek their sixth top-five team finish in the event since 2014.

Day One (Thursday)

With no multi-event competitor this season, Thursday will be a relatively light day for the Govs. To open the event, Austin Peay State University’s throws quartet (Shyanna Chapman, Maria Hillyard, Kori McDaniel, and Jackie Verseman) will compete in the hammer throw—an event in which McDaniel ranks seventh heading into the championships.

A trio of Govs led by Lennex Walker will go out at 2:00pm for the long jump; Walker looks to pick up points in the event for the fourth time in as many championship appearances.

The only track event for the Govs on Thursday will be the 200-meter dash preliminary round, but it will be a big one. That is where Kenisha Phillips will begin her assault on the opposition this weekend; by time, she has the top mark heading into the weekend will run in lane five of the second heat, Thursday.

Day Two (Friday)

Phillips’ roommate Karlijn Schouten opens Friday as one of the pole vault favorites; she’s the top qualifier in the event, scheduled for a 2:30pm start, while 2018 OVC Outdoor Freshman of the Year Morgan Bradley will make one more attempt at the podium in the event. This will be the 19th year the OVC Championships have held a pole vault event; the Govs won seven golds in the previous 18 seasons. 

At 3:30pm, Denia Hill-Tate will battle for supremacy in the high jump; she’s tied for fourth in the league heading into the event. The Chapman-Hillyard-McDaniel-Verseman quartet returns to action at 5:30pm in the discus, with McDaniel a qualifier for the top flight.

 


 

Friday also begins the bulk of the track qualifying ahead of Saturday’s finals. Included among these competitors for the Govs will be Walker (the 2019 champion in the 100-meter hurdles looking for a repeat), Phillips (400-meter dash), Kamille Dunbar (100-meter hurdles), Allana Johnson (400-meter dash), and Mikaela Smith (800-meter run) as potential qualifiers for the finals.

Phillips’ bid, in particular, will be worth watching; in addition to attempting to solidify her standing in both the 200 and 400 as an NCAA Preliminary qualifier (the top-48 qualify; she’s 23rd in the 400 and 37th in the 200), she seeks to become the first Gov in program history to win the 200 and 400 in the same outdoor season.

Day Three (Saturday)

The final day begins with an 11:00am shot put appearance for Hillyard, McDaniel, and Verseman; Chapman’s final day of competition begins later in the javelin, scheduled for a 2:00pm start.

In addition to what hopefully will be a passel of finals appearances, which begin on a rolling schedule at 12:30pm, the APSU Govs will run Sara Martin in the 5000-meter event as part of a huge field of competitors. Austin Peay State University will close the event with Johnson, Smith, Phillips, and Rayven Thomasson in the 4×400-meter relay; that quartet currently ranks second among OVC competitors heading into the championships.

A recap will be posted at LetsGoPeay.com following each day’s conclusion, while updates will be available on Twitter (@AustinPeayXCTF). LetsGoPeay.com will have on-the-ground coverage for at least a portion of all three days.


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