APSU Governors start strong at Belmont Opener
APSU Sports Information
Nashville, TN – A career-best showing by Nash Young paced Austin Peay State University men’s cross country in the Belmont Opener, while the upper class led the way for the Governors in the women’s event.
The men’s fourth-place finish was led by Young, a sophomore whose 16:01.21 mark was good for 18th place—both career-bests for the Hendersonville native.
Austin Peay Men’s Cross Country place fourth at Belmont Opener Saturday. (APSU Sports Information)
Newcomer Mathew Biwott posted a 26th-place finish in his first appearance as a Governor, finishing the five-kilometer race in 16:17.96, one spot ahead of sophomore Hezron Kiptoo (16:22.35, 27th).
Junior Wesley Gray (16:24.70, 30th) and sophomore Tyler Smith (16:44.32, 34th) rounded out the scoring for the Governors, with Thomas Porter (16:47.03, 36th), Elliot Giles (17:28.26, 43rd) and Daniel Davis (18:12.75, 45th) rounding out the roster for the Govs.
“Change and improvement were the themes of the day,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “A year ago, Nash was our seventh man; today he ran with confidence and no fear, just like he has every day in practice.
“With plenty of new faces in the lineup, our men ran well. On average, the men’s top-five ran 20 seconds faster than this time a year ago.”
Emmaculate Kiplagat’s 23rd-place, 19:12.30 mark led the way for the women’s side, which placed fifth. In her first race as a Gov, Caroline Kiplagat placed 38th (20:36.08), with Sarah-Emily Woodward (20:46.94, 41st), Sophia Wilson (21:57.31, 45th), Keleah Shell (22:04.26, 46th) and Alura Endrews (23:58.89, 49th) rounding out the APSU attack.
“Our women underwent a lot of change,” Molnar said. “Only Sarah-Emily Woodward returned from last season’s top-five, but they ran 1:25 faster today.
“We need to use this meet as a stepping stone. In two weeks we’ll come back to this course to run the Vanderbilt Invite. We’ll see what kind of improvement we can make.”