Track has momentum for SIU Invite

The Murray State track team had a successful weekend at the Indiana Relays in Bloomington, Ind., but now has its sights on the Southern Illinois Invitational hosted by SIU Carbondale.

At this point in the season, Head Coach Jenny Severns just wants to see her team taking steps forward each competition and doing better than they previously had, she said.

“We have been doing a good job at getting better every meet and that is just what we were looking for,” Severns said. “I mean, at this time of the year that is all you can hope for.”

Sophomore Ashley Conway from McHenry, Ill., brought home the highest placing for the Racers. She placed third in the high jump with a leap of 5-3 1/2. She also finished 13th in the long jump.

Also placing in the long jump for Murray State was Jolyta Taylor, who finished ninth. She recorded a jump of 17-2 1/2. This was a personal record for Taylor.

The relay team of Taylor, senior Alexis Love, junior Sharda Bettis and sophomore LaShea Shaw placed 12th in the 4×400 relay with a time of 3:55.27. This was a team best time.

The team of freshman Alicyn Hester, sophomore Brittany Bohm, freshman Emma Gilmore and freshman Leah Krause finished in eighth place in the 4×800 with a time of 10:01.18.

Tonia Pratt, sophomore from Michigan Center, Mich., finished eighth in the shot put with a throw of 43-3 3/4.

Bettis said at this meet she wanted to prove that she came back from her injury strong and is able to compete and get through the race without sinking.

“With the hurdles I just wanted to make sure I had a good race underneath me,” she said. “I didn’t run what I planned to run, but I did run well enough to get back to the semifinals.”

Up next for the Racers is the Southern Illinois Invitational in Carbondale, Ill.

This will be the last meet before the Racers compete at the OVC Championships.

Severns said they will treat this meet the same as the one before, although not everyone will be competing at the invite.

“A lot of people will have the weekend off,” she said. “For the people that are racing, we are going to try to get some good times so they can get into faster heats at OVCs and for our next meet at Grand Valley (State Big Meet).”

Sophomore Ashley Conway hopes to compete better this weekend, after being disappointed with her performance in Indiana.

“I am going to work on getting lower when I take off because I have been jumping really tall, which is not doing any help for me,” she said. “I want to get lower so I can use the power of my legs to get up.”

The track team will compete at the Southern Illinois Invitational will Feb. 1-2.

Story by Jaci Kohn, Sports editor.