CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Austin Peay State University women's track and field team heads north for the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by Eastern Illinois, at Lantz Arena, beginning at 1:30, Friday. The two-day event marks the 28th year OVC squads have competed for an indoor championship.
Although most consider Austin Peay a darkhorse in the OVC field, the Lady Govs have a strong contingent that head coach Doug Molnar believes will thrive in Charleston. None is more important to Austin Peay's fortunes than senior Chantelle Grey, newly-minted OVC Female Track Athlete of the Year. The Missoula, Mont., native leads the OVC in the 800m run and runs a leg of the Lady Govs 4x400m relay team that ranks third in the conference.
"We set some ambitious goals at the beginning of the season - relay goals, getting people qualified for the finals, things like that," said head coach Doug Molnar. "I believe those goals are attainable. If we get personal-bests from everyone this weekend, the results will speak for themselves."
Freshman Breigh Jones took over the conference lead in the 400m dash after a 55.89 run at last weekend's Buckeye Tune-Up earned her OVC Track Athlete of the Week honors. She will join Grey, junior Taelor Slaughter and freshman Kymmalett Ross in the 4x400m relay.
In addition to the 4x400m squad, the Lady Govs distance medley relay team ranks third in the conference going into the weekend, but have yet to best the 12:36.04 mark set at the Niswonger Invitational, Jan. 18.
In longer distances, junior Xiamar Richards continues to hold her own amongst the conference elite. She enters the championships ranked third in the 5000m run and sixth in the 3000m event. She will compete in both events this weekend.
In her first season as a Lady Gov, senior transfer Jasmine Foster has been huge for the Lady Govs in the shot put, where she ranks fifth in the conference with a 13.83m mark.
Senior Cenitra Hudson is a threat in both the long and triple jump. The senior from Memphis ranks sixth in the long jump (5.63m) and seventh in the triple (11.53m) heading into the championship. Senior Lauren Lyles ranks just behind Hudson in the long jump at seventh (5.60m) in the OVC.
"This is the healthiest we've been this season," Molnar said. "While we're not a very deep group, we've got high-quality athletes in each area. We have a good team that has the talent to do very well this weekend."