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Big Day Two bumps Govs up to top-five finish at the 2019 OVC Indoor Championships

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's Track and FieldBirmingham, AL – What a difference a day makes. After recording just 4.5 points on Day One of the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, Austin Peay State University (APSU) picked up 64 points—the fourth-most on the day—on the final day of competition to finish fifth overall, the fifth top-five finish in the indoor championships in the last six seasons for the Governors.  

Austin Peay's (L to R) Dascha Hix, Savannah Amato and Tymeitha Tolbert metaled at 2019 OVC Indoor Track and Field Championships. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay’s (L to R) Dascha Hix, Savannah Amato and Tymeitha Tolbert metaled at 2019 OVC Indoor Track and Field Championships. (APSU Sports Information)

Eighteen of those points came via the pole vault; to the surprise of no one, senior Savannah Amato [2] won her sixth straight OVC pole vault title and third straight indoor championship.

She hit 4.02m (13-2.25), while teammate Dascha Hix [3] took second with a 3.92m (12-10.25) mark, avenging a no-height suffered at last season’s OVC Outdoor Championships.

In her first Indoor Championship, freshman triple jumper Camaryn McClelland [4] just missed the podium. The Olive Branch, Mississippi native’s 12.14m (39-10.00) mark eclipsed her previous best as a Gov by nearly three feet and left her less than six inches off a podium that was swept by seniors from Tennessee Tech, SIU Edwardsville and Jacksonville State.

“Camaryn was pretty disappointed in the long jump and hurdles from yesterday,” said head coach Doug Molnar [5]. “It’s always tough to tell how a freshman will bounce back from a difficult first day, but I thought she did a great job in how she rallied.”

Austin Peay’s other gold medal was attained by sophomore Lennex Walker [6], whose 8.59 mark in the 60m hurdles put her at the front of the pack by more than a tenth of a second. Walker’s win earned Austin Peay’s first gold in the short hurdles since 2002, when Roni Hopkins set the program record with an 8.49 mark.

“Lennex cleared the first hurdle in the lead,” Molnar said. “She put a lot of pressure on the runners behind her, and when a few clipped the hurdles she was gone.”

In the 60m dash finals, junior Tymeitha Tolbert [7] broke her own school record with a 7.49 mark, placing third by the slimmest of margins. Results have her and Tennessee Tech’s Lisa Wickham both at 7.49, meaning thousandths of a second—at most—were the difference. Freshman Kyra Wilder [8] equaled her collegiate best with a 7.74 mark in the finals as well, placing seventh overall.  

Sophomore Sabrina Richman [9] continues to climb the podium as a Governor. After picking up a pair of bronze medals at the 2018 Outdoor Championships, the Atlanta native’s 55.28 mark in the 400m dash earned her first silver medal as a Governor. She returned to pick up another individual bronze in the 200m dash later in the day, posting a career-best 24.39 mark, while Wilder added three more points thanks to her sixth-place, 25.02 finish.

“For someone who didn’t run much in high school, I thought Wilder had a fantastic first indoor meet,” Molnar said. “She could be something really special.”

Richman and Wilder were joined the meet’s final event, the 4x400m relay, by freshman Jessica Kelley [11] and junior Amelia Thiesing [12]. The quartet posted a 3:49.94 mark to take bronze, six-hundredths of a second behind Tennessee State for runner-up and just over a second off Tennessee Tech’s winning pace.

“If we were perfect, there’s a chance we could’ve ended up a little higher,” Molnar said. “We gave away some points, which we can’t do. But we knew we had a lot of opportunities going into the day, and everyone who qualified ran well in the finals; everybody brought their best.”

The Govs will now enter the transition period between the end of the indoor session and the start of the outdoor campaign, which begins March 8 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the Coastal Carolina Invitational.