APSU set to play host to OVC Outdoor Championships
APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Playing host for the first time since 2001, Austin Peay State University women’s track and field team will kick off the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Friday, from Governors Stadium.
The two-day meet begins at 9:00am, Friday, with select events scheduled for competition at Edith Pettus Park.
After earning runner-up honors at last season’s edition of the event in Edwardsville – the best showing by an Austin Peay squad during head coach Doug Molnar‘s tenure – the Lady Govs are brimming with confidence heading into the weekend.
Austin Peay to host 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Track and Field Championships beginning Friday. (APSU Sports Information)
That confidence was no doubt buoyed, Thursday morning, when it was revealed that junior Breigh Jones and sophomore Kaylnn Pitts were named OVC Outdoor Track and Co-Field Athletes of the Year, respectively.
It is the first time Austin Peay has had two athletes take shares of track and field postseason honors in the same season since Ayesha Maycock and Sheena Gooding during the 2001 indoor campaign – coincidentally, Austin Peay’s last OVC Track and Field Championship season.
Jones leads the conference and ranks 47th in the NCAA East Region in the 400m thanks to a 53.93 mark, while her 24.05 time in the 200m dash is third in the OVC and one-hundredth of a second behind the school outdoor record.
Pitts is in the process of putting the school triple jump mark out of reach, having posted a 12.92m (42-4.75) mark that not only leads the OVC but ranks 10th in the region and 15th in the nation. She’s also third in the conference in the long jump (5.94m; 19-6.00), ranking 64th in the NCAA East.
That duo stands to make return trips to the NCAA East Preliminary Round once again in 2015; Pitts got her first taste of action last year in Jacksonville, while Jones, in her second appearance, became the first Austin Peay athlete since 2001 to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
It’s not all about Jones and Pitts, however, as a number of Lady Govs stand an excellent chance at seeing spots on the podium this weekend. Pitts’ counterpart, sophomore Chancis Jones, ranks among the conference’s elite in both the triple jump (12.46m; 40-10.5 for third) and long jump (5.78m; 18-11.75 for fourth). She has a chance to join Pitts in the NCAA East Preliminaries as well, ranking 46th regionally in the triple jump.
A trio of seniors are looking to go out with a bang for Austin Peay, as Erika Adams (11.97, fifth in the 100m dash), Jessica Gray (2:09.50, fourth in the 800m run) and Natalie Olberding (1:01.78, fourth in the 400m hurdles) seek OVC glory for a final time.
All three have medals from past OVC events – Adams picked up silver at the 2014 Indoor and Outdoor Championships and Gray earned bronze at last season’s Outdoor games, while Olberding was silver medalist in the hurdles in the 2013 Outdoor Championships.
In addition to Olberding, sophomore Myiah Johnson looks to capture another medal in OVC hurdles competition; Johnson, who ranks fifth in the 100m hurdles (14.10) entering the weekend, earned bronze at last season’s championships.
Austin Peay’s 4x100m (46.26) and 4x400m (3:47.19) relay teams rank third and second, respectively, entering the weekend; the Lady Govs took silver medals in both those events last season, finishing behind only Tennessee State.
Freshman Gretchen Rosch looks to follow in a long line of successful Austin Peay pole vaulters; she could become the Lady Govs’ first medalist in the event since Carrie Burggraf and Molly Bartkiewicz in 2010 after quietly working her way up to fifth in the OVC standings with a 3.40m (11-1.75) mark.
If you can’t make it out to Governors Stadium this weekend, you can watch all the action online at www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com/watch. Live stats also will be available courtesy of www.adkinstrak.com.