At Murray State we have a huge batch of talented players in a wide variety of sports. Everyone knows about our successful basketball team, but rifle and golf have had very strong starts to their seasons, and track is expected to do well also.
Many of these players will go on to play at the professional and international levels after their time as Racers ends. These are just a few of the many talented players here on campus. These are people you should take notice of and follow as they progress throughout their sure-to-be-successful careers.
Senior Isaiah Canaan is already showing his strength early in the season. So far, he has scored 135 points and is averaging 22.5 points per game.
In the game against Lipscomb Monday, Canaan scored 32 points for his second straight 30 point-game. In the preseason polls he was selected to the Associated Press Preseason All-America Team Basketball Team, was named the OVC Preseason Player of the Year and was selected as the top point guard in the country by CBS Sports.
He started all 33 games and was sixth in the OVC with 33.7 minutes per game last year.
Canaan reached the 30-point mark four times and ended the season as the 24th leading scorer in the nation, sixth in made threes per game, 13th in three-point percentage, 36th in free throw percentage and 47th in steals per game. He is the 38th member of the Murray State 1000-Point Club and this season could become the sixth person to the 2000-Point Club.
Alexis Love wowed the campus last year with her blazing times on the track & field circuit.
The senior from Palmetto, Fla., holds the Murray State and OVC record in the 200m. Love finished sixth at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and was named the OVC Track Athlete of the Year. Her peers at Murray State also voted her MSU Female Athlete of the Year.
After her season at Murray State was over, Love moved her sights to the Olympic Trials. She made it all the way to the semifinals before coming up .54 seconds short of the final Olympic qualifying spot.
This season, receiver Walter Powell had a record-setting year of his own.
The junior from St. Louis, Mo., put together the best football season ever recorded by a receiver at Murray State. Powell set many new school records: 94 catches for 1,213 yards, just the fourth player to catch 10 touchdown passes in a season and his six 100-yard receiving games.
He is ranked fourth in the FCS for receptions per game and 10th for receiving yards per game. The Racer averaged 26.3 yards per kickoff return, and 15.8 yards per punt return.
Powell set an FCS record when he returned a punt 100 yards for a touchdown in the victory against Southeast Missouri. He leads the OVC and ranks second in the nation for all-purpose yards per game with 193.
Golfer Patrick Newcomb has been solid so far this season. Right now, the senior from Benton, Ky., is leading the OVC with a scoring average of 71 shots through 17 rounds.
Over the summer, Newcomb became the first player in Racer golf history to advance to the round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Village, Col., and to win the state amateur two times. He is one of only two to be the champion.
Newcomb finished his summer sixth overall and fourth among amateurs at the Kentucky Open in Hebron, Ky., with scores of 72-72-68=212. Last season Newcomb was named the OVC Golfer of the Year after he won three times and turned in eight top-five finishes.
Newcomb finished second at the OVC Championship and for the season, he had 16 rounds of par or better and eight sub-70 rounds.
With so many successful Racers, it seems as if our winning legacy will stay pristine for many years to come thanks to the successes of numerous athletes currently among us.
Column by Jaci Kohn, Assistant Sports Editor.