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Pitts, APSU Track post big days at Thundering Herd Invite

Austin Peay Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Lady Govs - APSUHuntington, WV – Austin Peay State University women’s track and field team posted a strong day, particularly in the sprints, at the Thundering Herd Invitational, Saturday, at the Cline Athletic Complex.

In the season’s first scored event, Austin Peay finished sixth out of 12 squads with 54 points.

Austin Peay Track and Field. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay Track and Field. (APSU Sports Information)

Western Carolina won the event with 122 points, with Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Kentucky earning runner-up honors with 69.5. Host Marshall placed fifth (61 points), while another OVC squad, Morehead State, was 11th (8).

“I thought we did a much better job today,” said head coach Doug Molnar [2]. “I really think we’re starting to round into form, we really had solid efforts all the way across the board.”

While plaudits must go to Austin Peay’s exemplary track effort Saturday, it was triple jumper Kaylnn Pitts [3] that picked up the Lady Govs lone spot atop the podium at Marshall. She eclipsed the 12-meter mark for the first time this season with a 12.10m leap, the only competitor Saturday to break that barrier. Freshman Keyondria Ross [4] (fifth, 11.45m) also contributed four points to the Lady Govs final tally.

The Lady Govs track stars got started early on Saturday, placing two runners in the finals of both the 60m and 60m hurdles to start the day.

Since junior Breigh Jones [5] already owns the APSU indoor 400m record, she seems to have set her sights on other school marks. The Memphis, TN native snagged the last qualifying spot in the 60m in her first attempt this season with a 7.68 run, joining Kymmalett Ross [6] (7.71) in the finals. Once there, Jones’ personal-best 7.67 mark earned her fifth place, two-hundredths of a second behind the school record; Ross placed seventh with a 7.79.

Later, Jones (third, 24.56), Ross (sixth, 24.96) and White (seventh, personal-best 25.42) allowed Austin Peay to pick up 10 points in the 200m event. For Jones, the 24.56 is both a personal-best and three-hundredths of a second behind Maikea Davis [7]‘ school-record.

Sophomores Amia Butler [8] (8.83) and Myiah Johnson [9] (8.95) qualified third and fourth, respectively, in the hurdles, with White just missing a spot in the finals with a personal-best 8.96 run.

In the finals, Johnson eclipsed Butler to finish third with a personal-best 8.76 mark. Butler placed seventh with an 8.98 run but picked up a couple of points for the APSU cause.

Senior Jessica Gray [11] picked up Austin Peay’s best finish on the track Saturday with a runner-up mark in the 800m dash. Her 2:14.09 lowered her personal-best by nearly two-and-a-half seconds, and she was less than two-tenths of a second behind the winner, West Virgnia’s Kelly Williams.

Sophomore Molly Jordan [12] also earned a point for APSU, finishing eighth with a 2:18.18 run.

Despite having only half the regular lineup (Jones and Gray) in Saturday’s 4x400m relay listing, Austin Peay’s depth showed with a third-place, 3:50.88 mark. Junior Michaela McGhee [13] and freshman Allysha Scott [14] got the nod and ran solid third and fourth legs, respectively.

“Our 200 runners did a really nice job, really put in a solid effort,” Molnar said. “Across the board there are still a few things to correct and a few people we want to get a little healthier but overall I was pleased with today.”

Austin Peay returns to action next weekend in Carbondale, IL, for the SIU Invitational.