Junior Brittany Bohn did not stand down on the big stage last weekend as the Racers competed against 35 other collegiate teams at the Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.
The Mahomet, Ill., native set personal bests in both of her two events, posting times of 2 minutes, 14.87 seconds in the 800-meter and 4:34.67 in the 1500-meter. The performances earned her 10th and 23rd place finishes, respectively. Bohn added her name to the Murray State record books in the process, cracking the all-time top ten in each event.
“(Brittany) had a good meet,” said Head Coach Jenny Severns. “She probably benefitted the most from the level of competition at the meet. She just went in and was aggressive and had confidence the whole way. She ran hard and it paid off with some big (personal records).”
Bohn said she knew she had the ability to post the personal best times.
“I was happy because it was about time for a good performance,” Bohn said. “I have been putting the work in and I knew I could run the times that I did. There’s always improvement in different areas, especially in the 800. I think I still have a little more I can offer in that.”
Sophomore Emma Gilmore was right on Bohn’s heels in both events. Gilmore posted a time of 4:38.57 in the 1500-meter, finishing just eight spots behind her teammate in 31st place. Her time also cracked the top ten all-time Murray State list.
Gilmore also performed well in the 800-meter, finishing in 2:16.05 and earning a 15th place finish, just five spots behind Bohn.
“It’s always nice to run with teammates because you train with them,” Bohn said. “You know they’re capable of doing the same thing and if they’re ahead of you, you know you probably need to pick it up. You can easily judge each other and use each other to keep an eye on where we should be.”
Junior Sydney Potts had an impressive day in the javelin throw, earning a seventh place finish in the field of 27 with a toss of 126 feet, nine inches. Sophomore Kennedy Berkley placed 18th in the event with a throw of 104 feet, two inches.
Tonia Pratt also had a big day in her field events. The junior from Michigan Center, Mich., posted a pair of eighth place finishes in both the shot put and hammer throw. Her 56.14 meter toss in the hammer throw was just .09 meters off her personal best and the school record.
Overall, Severns said she was happy with the way the Racers responded and performed against the top-level competition.
“Ohio State was great in getting people prepared for conference,” Severns said. “We got to get some big PRs because we ran against some great competition. That’s great for our confidence going forward.”
The Racers also hosted a smaller meet on Tuesday. The Battle of the Cumberlands featured the Racers and teams from Austin Peay State and Tennessee Tech.
Gilmore improved her 800-meter time from the previous weekend by more than half a second, taking the top overall spot with a mark of 2:15.48. Bohn posted a time of 2:41.98 in the 1500-meter, also good for first place.
Junior Ashley Conway took the top spot in the long jump, posting a distance of 18 feet, eight inches.
The Racers swept the shot put, discus and hammer throw events with Pratt winning the first two and sophomore Alexis Schelper taking the hammer throw.
The team looks ahead to its final meet before the OVC Outdoor Championships. The Racers will travel to Jonesboro, Ark., today for the Arkansas State Red Wolves Open.
As the team prepares for the all-important conference championships, Bohn said keeping the confidence up is key.
Said Bohn: “Right now, the most important thing is just to stay confident and go for it every time I race.”
Story by Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer