With her record-setting indoor weight throw, junior Tonia Pratt led the way for her team in another successful track meet.
Pratt’s toss of 18.92 at the Grand Vallye State Big Meet meters broke the school record by 1.5 inches, and she now holds the Murray State record in the indoor weight throw and shot put, as well as the outdoor discus and hammer throw.
Pratt said she still isn’t satisfied.
“It just means it’s another number I’ve got to break,” she said. “I can’t just leave it at that.”
Pratt said she always wants to beat her own records, and she focuses on that in her competitions.
“I just go in and do my best,” she said. “I don’t think about winning or scoring or anything. I just want to go in there and do better than I ever have. “
Pratt wasn’t the only Racer to set a personal record at the meet. Senior Carolyne Tanui broke 18 minutes in the 5,000-meter run, while sophomores Leah Krause and Alicyn Hester also set personal bests in the event. Nearly all the runners competing in the meet finished with the best times in their careers.
Head Coach Jenny Severns said despite competing with more than 2,400 athletes from almost 100 schools in the same meet, the team continued to show improvement.
“I think we’re doing better at running and throwing and jumping under pressure” she said. “When circumstances aren’t necessarily perfect, getting in there and doing what we need to do. They’re getting better at setting everything aside and just competing.”
With the last indoor meet before the OVC Championships behind them, the team can turn its focus to the conference competition. Severns said practices should not change, though.
“I don’t think it’s any different,” she said. “Every meet everybody goes in trying to get better. They try to place themselves in a better position going into OVC.”
Pratt said at this point she is more focused on the small aspects of her technique than trying to change anything major.
“I went in thinking I had to do everything I did in practice,” Pratt said. “I try to take what I’ve learned and apply it to competition, so that’s what I think about.”
Severns said as coaches, their job for the OVC meet is to make sure the athletes are rested, recovered and confident.
“If everybody goes and gives it their all and does the best they possibly can, then big things will happen,” she said. “If everybody just focuses on the big things, sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in that and forget about what got you there. The little things, that’s what’s important.”
Murray State has one more week to prepare for the indoor OVC Championships, hosted by Tennessee State Feb. 27-March 1 in Nashville, Tenn.
Story by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor