High hopes for APSU Track at OVC Indoor Championships
APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s track and field team seeks to prove it belongs at the upper echelon of the Ohio Valley Conference when the Lady Govs compete in the 2015 OVC Indoor Championships, hosted by Eastern Illinois at Lantz Fieldhouse.
Austin Peay’s third-place showing at last season’s indoor championships was the best by an Austin Peay squad during head coach Doug Molnar‘s career and the best by any APSU squad since 2001.
Austin Peay Track and Field competes in OVC Indoor Championships this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)
The 2015 Lady Govs may be hard-pressed to surpass the five school records that were broken a year ago at the championships.
“We feel pretty good heading into the weekend,” Molnar said. “We’ve gotten some people back healthy again and we’re in a great position this weekend. Nobody is overlooking us this year, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
It’s still a young Austin Peay squad that takes the track this weekend. Of the 14 athletes that comprise the 23 top-10 spots Austin Peay currently owns in the OVC lists, 10 are sophomores or freshmen. Among the most intriguing of the youngsters is sophomore Amia Butler – the multi-event standout ranks fifth in the pentathlon, standing out in the 60m hurdles (ranking sixth at 8.76) and the long jump (third, 5.81m).
The name likely to make the biggest splash, of course, belongs to Breigh Jones. The junior from Memphis Tennessee leads the conference in the 400m dash by a comfortable margin (53.96) and is a contender for medals in both the 200m (third, 24.56) and with Austin Peay’s second-ranked 4x400m relay team.
In addition to Jones, Austin Peay will have two other chances for medals and points in the 60m, 200m and 400m dashes. Junior Kymmalett Ross will be a contender in both the 60m and particularly in the 200m, where she currently ranks fourth (24.63). Senior Erika Adams (seventh, 60m), freshman Sonja White (10th, 200m) and sophomore Terri Morris (eighth, 400m) also stand to add to Austin Peay’s point total.
While Austin Peay’s sprinters grab the headlines, the jumps group stands to grab a large share of the points as well. Lady Govs currently comprise half of the top eight in the long jump – in addition to Butler, Austin Peay also expects big weekends in the long jump from sophomores Chancis Jones (sixth, 5.69m), Ashleigh Woods (seventh, 5.67m) and Kaylnn Pitts (eighth, 5.66m).
Pitts also leads the conference by a slim margin in the triple jump – her 12.40m mark has her fingertips ahead of Tennessee State’s Amber Hughes, who owns a 12.39m mark. Jones also looks to build on her sixth-place, 11.98m mark in the triple jump that she earned last weekend at the Buckeye Tune-Up.
“Our sprint and jumps groups are as deep and talented as any in the league,” Molnar said. “I’d put them up against and anyone and feel pretty good about our chances.”
Speaking of recent results, senior Jessica Gray moved into third in the OVC in the 800m run after last weekend’s 2:12.73 run at the Alex Wilson Invitational and looks to equal – or better – the bronze she earned in the event at last season’s OVC Outdoor Championships.
In addition to Butler, sophomore Myiah Johnson stands to give the Lady Govs a second scoring option in the 60m hurdles. The Memphis native is tied with Tennessee State’s Clairwin Dameus for fourth in the conference at 8.67.
A pair of freshmen pole vaulters look to leave Charleston with points or medals for Austin Peay. Gretchen Rosch ranks fifth in the event (3.25m), while Demi Nicolozakes enters Friday in 10th place.