Racers athletes break personal bests as they prepare for Indiana Relays

Haley Hays/The News The women distance runners practice Tuesday. Several runners are coming off personal record performances at their last meet in Arkansas on Saturday.
Haley Hays/The News The women distance runners practice Tuesday. Several runners are coming off personal record performances at their last meet in Arkansas on Saturday.

Haley Hays/The News
The women distance runners practice Tuesday. Several runners are coming off personal record performances at their last meet in Arkansas on Saturday.

The Murray State track and field athletes set 30 personal bests while competing Saturday at the Scarlet and Black Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark.

“It’s a pretty big deal for us to walk away with 30 PRs (personal records),” said Head Coach Jenny Severns. “We are proud of all of them.” 

The invitational, hosted by Arkansas State, was not a team-scored event.

It gave the Racers an opportunity to compete against athletes from eight other schools, including the University of Mississippi, University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State.

Senior Tonia Pratt had another successful week. Pratt beat 11 other competitors in the weight throw with a distance of 18.87 meters.

“Tonia is one of our most consistent point scorers and has been ever since she arrived in Murray,” Severns said. “I wouldn’t expect anything different from her as the season continues. She is truly a great asset to the team.” 

Junior Jill Jachino landed in seventh on Murray State’s all-time-best list after setting a personal record in the triple jump with a distance of 11.25 meters.

Jachino also set a personal record in the long jump with a 5.12 meter jump.

“Jill has been working really hard,” Severns said. “In track and field, you just have to be patient and ready for your time to come and this is her time.”

Having 30 personal best performances in one meet can be a big motivator, Severns said.

As soon as one person steps up, that boosts the entire team’s confidence to do more, she said.

Other athletes who had personal best performances in Jonesboro included:

Senior LaShea Shaw, who qualified as one of the top eight runners in the 55-meter sprint. She went to the final heat and finished fifth with in 7.33 seconds.

Shaw also finished fifth out of 22 athletes in 8.52 seconds in the 55- meter hurdles. Shaw qualified for the final heat where she finished in sixth in 8.56 seconds.

Distance runner Brittany Bohn set a personal record in the 3000- meter run, where she finished in 10:14. Bohn once again made it on the Murray State all-time-best list, following her performance the week before in which she made the list for the 1600-meter run.

Middle-distance runner Heatherly Paschall also walked away with two personal bests after this week’s meet. She set her top time in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:35.52. In the 1600-meter run, Paschall crossed the finish line at 5:40.78, also her best time in that event.

Next, the Racers will head to the Indiana University Relays in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday.

Severns said that will be a more competitive meet.

“Everyone is going to have to step up to a new level,” she said. “I am completely confident we are ready to do that.”

Story by Da’Sha Tuck,  Staff writer