The Murray State track and field team began 2015 at last weekend’s Kentucky Invitational in Lexington with seven athletes and a pair of relay squads cracking the University’s all-time top 10 performance list.
Junior Brittany Bohn ran the mile in 5 minutes, 5.59 seconds which landed her at sixth on Murray State’s all-time best list and sixth in the race. Fellow junior Alicyn Hester came in 10th in the race at 5:14.61.
“The good thing about our team this year is that it is a little bit older,” said Head Coach Jenny Severns. “We have more upperclassmen than we have ever had. That helps make it easier for us because they take on a lead role in the meets.”
Senior sprinter LaShea Shaw landed on the all-time best list in two events: fourth in the 60-meter hurdles and 10th in the 60-meter sprint. Shaw ran a 9.09 in the hurdles, just beating freshman teammate Taylor McCammon, whose 9.11 puts her fifth all time. Neither made the final round in the event, finishing 19th and 20th, respectively.
Senior Tonia Pratt’s weight throw of 59.97 feet on Friday landed third on the all-time list. And she followed that Saturday with a throw in the shot put of 44.42 feet, which was the sixth-best throw in school history.
Other athletes who made the all-time list at last weekend’s invitational include:
Deja Rodgers, a freshman sprinter, ran the 60 meters in 7.83, good for sixth all-time.
Freshman hurdler Kristen Higgins, whose 9.4 seconds was good for ninth all time.
Junior Emma Gilmore, whose 2:18:06 in the 800 meters is now ninth best all-time
Bohn, meanwhile, helped pace Murray State in the distance medley relay Friday by leading off in the 1200-meter leg, followed by sophomore Taylor Adcock running 400 meters, junior Emma Gilmore running 800 meters and Hester anchoring in the 1600 meter-leg. They finished in 12:13.96, good for fourth in the race.
“It was the first time I’ve done lead-off for the 1200, I wasn’t sure of my strategy, but it started out pretty good and ended well,” Bohn said.
Murray State’s second team in the distance medley finished seventh in the race. Both teams made the all-time list because this season marks just the second in which Murray State has competed in the event.
At the Kentucky Invitational at the University of Kentucky’s Nutter Fieldhouse, the Racers went up against Division I track and field powers, such as UK and the University of Central Florida as well as the University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, Southern Illinois University and Marshall University.
On Friday, the team heads to Jonesboro, Ark., for the A-State Scarlet and Black Invitational.
Severns said she expects tough competition in Jonesboro but not to the level of last weekend’s in Lexington. She said the Scarlet and Black Invitational will be a warm-up for the Indiana Relays in Bloomington on Jan. 30.
“You need your team to back you up, it’s a very mental sport and to have the support of your teammates constantly helps you get through the highs and lows of track,” Bohn said.