Austin Peay Govs get off to a good start at 2019 OVC Outdoor Championships
Cape Girardeau, MO – Austin Peay State University (APSU) track and field had some strong qualifying marks in the 200m dash, a medal in the pole vault and some excellent work by one student-athlete in the heptathlon that highlighted the opening day of competition for the Govs at the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Austin Peay Track and Field sophomore Morgan Bradley won the Govs first medal placing third in the Pole Vault. (APSU Sports Information)
The event kicked off Thursday, May 9th at Abe Stuber Track and Field Facility.
Senior Nia Gibbs-Francis is in excellent position to pick up points across the board. In the heptathlon, a second-place finish in the 200m dash and her typical top showing in the high jump helped her tabulate 2,748 points, placing her fifth with three events left. She’s roughly 230 points clear of falling out of the top-eight, with the long jump, javelin and 800m run remaining.
In addition to finishing the heptathlon on Friday and competing in her specialty, the high jump, Gibbs-Francis will have some unfinished business on Saturday. That’s because she qualified for the 400m hurdles final, qualifying sixth with a 1:03.43 mark.
She’ll be joined by APSU freshman Mikaela Smith, who qualified in just her fourth collegiate attempt in the event with a personal-best 1:03.50 mark; she’ll line up seventh in Saturday’s final.
Austin Peay’s first medal in the 2019 OVC Outdoor Championships belongs to sophomore Morgan Bradley. She shared third with Southeast Missouri’s Sierra Maddox with a 3.49m mark, securing 5.5 points for the Govs and earning her second career medal in OVC Outdoor competition.
The sprints have long been where Austin Peay State University’s most diverse collection of talent has thrived, and this weekend is shaping up to be another in a long line of successful showings for associate head coach Valerie Brown‘s charges. Thursday offered up qualifying in the 200m dash, where sophomore Sabrina Richman was the top finisher at 24.06, the best time of her career and the best by a Gov since Breigh Jones set the school record at 23.93 during the 2015 OVC Outdoor Championships.
She’ll have company in the finals too; 2019 OVC Freshman of the Year Kyra Wilder qualified third with a personal-best 24.27 mark, and Tiyanna Johnson got in at 24.79, four-hundredths of a second ahead of the ninth-place finisher.
Friday action begins with the final three heptathlon events, scheduled to begin at 9:30am. Friday’s field events start at 2:30pm with the women’s high jump, and the track events are scheduled to begin at 5:00pm.