Weather doesn’t hold back track and field home meet

The Racer track and field team battled the weather April 3 at the third annual Margaret Simmons Invitational.

The meet was scheduled to start at noon, but faced multiple weather delays due to lightening and rain.

The meet consisted of Murray State, Austin Peay State and Jacksonville State.

Because of the delays Austin Peay left the meet before it started.

Murray State senior Toni Pratt came out in the meet’s first event, the hammer and set a personal record of 59.82 meters, which is a new school record.

This is a goal she has wanted to achieve since she started throwing.

“It’s been my goal since I started to throw long,” Pratt said.

Though the weather wasn’t ideal it didn’t hinder or hurt Pratt’s confidence going into her events.

“I feel like the rain kind of helped me since we throw in the rain and practice in the rain. We practice in all weather so it helped my footwork,” Pratt said.

Pratt also competed in the shot put and finished first with a throw of 13.68 meters.

The Racer’s Brittany Bohn set a personal record in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 11 minutes 20.93 seconds.

Other performances by the Racers:

  • Taylor Horton, Emma Gilmore and Raeven Wilson all ran in the 200 meter for the first time and finished in 27.67 seconds 27.83 and 30.38, respectively.
  • Darcy Sullivan, who was competing for the first time in the event and finished with a distance of 9.35 meters. Sullivan also competed in the hammer for the first time and threw 27.92 meters.
  • Sarah Bindel competed in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles. She finished second in both events with times of 16.78 (100m hurdles) and 1:13.34 (400m hurdles).
  • Ashley Conway and Horton competed in the high jump and cleared 1.55 meters and 1.40 meters, respectively.
  • Sydney Potts took the win in the javelin with 36.68 meters. Alexis Schleper and Marina Keller threw respective distances of 26.58 meter and 24.60 meters.
  • Chleo LeGrand finished second in the pole vault with 2.90 meters, while Jill Jachino finished with 2.59 meters.
  • In the 400m, Summer Wheeler finished in 1 minute 1.87 seconds.
  • Alexis Schleper threw the in the hammer throw and threw a distance of 40.61-meters which was good for third place. Marina Keller threw for the first time with a distance of 29.52 meter.
  • Gilmore led the way in the 800 meter with a time of 2:20.59. Wilson and Thate followed behind in second and third with respective times of 2 minutes 26.26 seconds and 2 minutes 29.82 seconds.
  • Abbie Oliver ran the 1500m and finished in second with a time of 4:54.68.

The Margaret Simmons Invitational is an event named after a well respected innovator here at Murray State.

Simmons started the Murray State women’s track and field team in 1968 and three years later she adding a women’s cross-country team.

According to records show that she served a 23-year tenure as the Murray State track and field coach.

During her 23-year tenure as head coach, she led the Racers to eight Ohio Valley Conference titles and two runner-up titles.

Her cross-country teams never finished lower than second in the OVC after the championship began in 1979. 

Simmons was named OVC Coach of the Year six times, and was named Kentucky Women’s Athletic Conference Coach of the Year on two occasions.

The Racers will be at two locations this upcoming weekend.

WKU Relays Western Kentucky University on the 9 and 10 and Tennessee Relays at the University of Tennessee Knoxville on the tenth and eleventh.

Story by John Morris, Contributing writer