Big wins aid Austin Peay Govs in Carbondale
APSU Sports Information
Carbondale , IL – After two meets, Austin Peay State University (APSU) track and field goes into the winter break on a high note, particularly following a number of victories at the 2018 Saluki Fast Start, hosted by Southern Illinois.
Austin Peay Women’s Track and Field win several titles at Saluki Fast Start. (APSU Sports Information)
Four Governors earned individual titles, including the first 400m win by a Gov since 2016, the first 60m dash win since 2015 and the first 800m individual win since 2014.
“We grew from the first meet to the second meet,” since head coach Doug Molnar. “We’re in a better place than we were at this time last year. It’s the best two-meet December we’ve had in my 15 years here.”
A duo of whom much is becoming expected proved why with wins in the 60m and 400m events on Saturday.
Sophomore Sabrina Richman blazed around the track with a 57.19 mark, a full second ahead of her closest competition, while junior Tymeitha Tolbert’s 7.56 mark in the finals was one-hundredth of a second off the school record and two-hundredths of a second ahead of Southern Illinois’ Ty’Juana Eason for the victory.
Freshman Tiyanna Johnson also placed fifth in the 60m at 7.80, while juniors Diamond Battle and Maya Perry-Grimes just missed finals qualification with an 8.04 and 8.08 mark, respectively.
Richman also took runner-up honors in the 200m dash with a 25.36 mark in her first indoor 200m attempt, while freshman Kyra Wilder was fifth with a 25.76 run and Tolbert capped her day with an indoor-best 26.13 mark, finishing sixth.
A trio of hurdlers took spots two-through-four in the 60m hurdles event; junior Kaitlyn Black led the way at 9.10, followed by sophomores Denia Hill-Tate and Kamille Dunbar at 9.19 and 9.36, respectively.
“From last year to this year, our hurdlers have stepped up in a big way,” Molnar said. “They’re way ahead of where they were last year.”
The Govs got excellent performances in the longer distances as well. Freshman Mikaela Smith (2:23.74) and sophomore Keleah Shell (2:29.51) took the top-two spots in the 800m run, while sophomore Sophia Wilson placed fourth (2:39.44). Junior Amelia Thiesing was runner-up in the non-standard 600m run at 1:37.10, freshman Larin Harr made an excellent fourth-place, 5:38.79 debut in the mile run and senior Emmaculate Kiplagat rounded out a solid afternoon with a fourth-place, 10:53.38 3000m run.
Two Austin Peay relay groups earned top-five 4x400m finishes; Dunbar, Smith, Black and freshman Camaryn McClelland placed third at 4:23.07, while Johnson, Sara Martin, Caroline Kiplagat and Allana Johnson were fifth at 4:27.34.
To the surprise of virtually no one, seniors Savannah Amato and Dascha Hix were the top-two finishers in the pole vault. Amato equaled her season-opening 3.95m mark from last week’s Vanderbilt Opener to take the top spot, while Hix’s 3.80m vault earned her runner-up honors.
A trio of Austin Peay underclassmen earned top-five finishes in Austin Peay’s first long jump attempts of the indoor campaign. McClelland placed third in her debut with a 5.38m mark, with sophomore Lennex Walker (5.34m, fourth) and freshman Jessica Kelley (5.29m, fifth) ranking near the top of the field as well. McClelland also placed fourth in the triple jump with an 11.29m mark, while senior Nia Gibbs-Francis rounded out an excellent day in the jumps with a runner-up 1.62m mark.
Freshman Kori McDaniel built on a strong debut last week with a fifth-place, 13.06m shot put, with fellow newcomer Jackie Verseman (11.94m, sixth) right behind her. Verseman also placed sixth with a 12.72m toss in the weight throw.
“Those throwers are going to be a really nice one-two punch,” Molnar said. “We had a great meet to close out the fall; now, we can’t just do nothing over the next two-three weeks, this will be for naught. We have to keep training and taking care of business.”
The Govs return to action in January for the Ed Temple Classic in Nashville.