Austin Peay Lady Govs primed for OVC Indoor Championships
Austin Peay Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s track and field team enters the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships hoping to take its place among the conference elite with a strong showing in Nashville, TN.
The two-day event begins 9:00am, Friday, at the Gentry Center on Tennessee State’s campus.
The Lady Govs have not taken a top-five team finish since the 2010 championships.
Austin Peay Women’s Track and Field. (APSU Sports Information)
That could change this year with the addition of youth and talent to this year’s edition – of the 20 newcomers to this year’s squad, nine are ranked in the top-10 in the OVC in at least one event heading into the indoor championships.
Redshirt freshman Amia Butler has one of the more intriguing resumes entering this weekend’s meet. Not only does she rank second in the indoor pentathlon, but her marks in the triple jump (11.56m, 10th), long jump (5.96m, fifth) and 60m hurdles (8.78, eighth) put her in prime position to be a big points-earner for Austin Peay. Her long jump mark places her 73rd nationally entering the weekend, making her the highest-ranked Lady Gov.
Sophomore Kymmalett Ross has built a body of work similar to Butler’s, albeit solely on the track. The Eureka, CA, native stands to be a contender in the 60m (7.67, seventh), 200m (25.06, 10th) and 400m (57.46, ninth) events, and has a spot on both Austin Peay relay teams.
The 4x400m squad of Ross, freshman Terri Morris, sophomore Breigh Jones and junior Maikea Davis ranks second in the conference (3:48.88) entering the weekend and has to be considered one of the favorites for the event. Ross also joins freshman Molly Jordan, junior Jessica Gray and senior Xiamar Hudson to make a solid distance medley relay line-up that ranks fourth in the conference entering the weekend (12:20.15).
Davis, Jones, Gray and Hudson each have a chance to earn points as individuals as well. Davis, who transferred in from Western Kentucky, is on the short list of favorites in the 200m event and enters the weekend ranked second with a 24.42 mark.
Jones, who traveled to Colombia as part of the US Junior Pan-American games contingent last summer, is fourth in the 400m at 55.98, while Gray (sixth in the 800m, 2:16.96) and Hudson (seventh in the 3000m at 10:10.98) are expected to provide points for the Lady Govs as well.
Junior Erika Adams, owner of Austin Peay’s school records in the indoor 55m and 60m dash events, ranks third in the 60m entering the weekend. In a 400m field packed with Lady Govs, Morris has also emerged as a darkhorse thanks to her 56.95 mark earlier this month at the SIU Invitational, which places her seventh entering the weekend.
A trio of true freshmen jumpers led by Kaylnn Pitts could also make noise for the Lady Govs. Pitts moved into second in the triple jump behind OVC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year Jatavia Wright from SIU Edwardsville thanks to last weekend’s personal-best 12.26m leap. Clarksville native Brianna Kelly (1.68m, fourth) and Ashleigh Woods (11.70m, sixth) are contenders in the high jump and triple jump, respectively.
Following the OVC Championships, any qualified Lady Gov would participate in the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 14th-15th in Fayetteville, AR. The entire squad resumes competition when the outdoor season begins, March 28th-29th at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville.