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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Racers place second at OVC Indoor Championships

Senior Hilary McAdam receives the baton in a relay. (Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics)

Jon Dunning

Staff Writer

[email protected]

Murray State track and field placed second in the 2020 OVC Indoor Championship on Wednesday, Feb. 26, and Thursday, Feb. 27, in Birmingham, Alabama, falling one point short of first behind Austin Peay.

For Murray State Head Coach Adam Kiesler, one word sums up the feeling of losing by one point.

“Disappointed,” Kiesler said. “It’s something that we will definitely think about, but we don’t have much time to be mad about it. We got to move forward and try to reach our goals for outdoor.”

The Racers still experienced success during the two-day event, starting on day one with sophomore Ashlyn Oren taking the OVC Indoor High Jump title. Oren is the first Racer since Jenille Kelly in 1989 to win the high jump title.

Oren took the high jump event with a 1.69m effort. Redshirt junior Jessikha Ribeiro took fourth in the event and freshman Meghan Fletcher placed fifth.

Expanding on Murray State’s success for the day, sophomore Rachel Hagans took the bronze medal in long jump with 5.71m, and Oren jumped for 5.52m.

In weight throw, senior Jewel Wagner finished seventh with 16.68m, earning the Racers another two points.

Murray State finished fifth in the distance medley with a time of 12:17.43.

As the scored events concluded for the day, the Racers stood in second place, trailing Southeast Missouri by 13 points.

Six Racers qualified for finals in track preliminary events. Senior Norma Abdur-Rafia qualified for both the 200-meter and 400-meter, junior Kenia Seals qualified for the 60-meter and 200, senior D’Myia Thornton qualified for the 400 and redshirt sophomore Jumyia Denning qualified for the 60.

Sophomore Dontavia Howard was the only Racer to qualify for the 60-meter hurdles, and senior Hilary McAdam qualified for the 800-meter.

On day two, Murray State continued to rack up medals.

Sophomore Brooke Misukonis earned a silver medal in pole vault, setting a school record with 3.89m. Freshman Jenna Pauly placed sixth in the event and sophomore Shannon Riley took seventh.

For Kiesler, Misukonis’ record setting performance was no surprise.

“She was ready,” Kiesler said. “She’s somebody that does very well in championship settings. The crazy thing is that you can’t sit here and say it was unexpected because we thought there were bits and pieces throughout the year that she could’ve put it together and she did at the right time.”

In the 200, Abdur-Rafi took the silver medal with 24.39.

Thornton took bronze in the 400 with a time of 55.96, and Abdur-Rafi finished fourth.

In the 60, Howard earned a bronze medal with a time of 8.89. Seals and Denning finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Wagner threw a season-best distance in shot put with 13.14m, taking a bronze medal. Senior Destiny Carey also competed in the event, placing sixth.

McAdam took fourth in the 800, Ribeiro and Oren finished fourth and fifth in the pentathlon and junior Antoinetta Avant placed sixth in triple jump.

In the final event on day two, the Racers finished second in the 4×400 relay, falling just half a second behind Austin Peay.

Even though Murray State did not achieve its goal of placing first in the event, Kiesler knows his team put forth a great effort.

“I think we went out there and we put forth a good effort overall,” Kiesler said. “Last year we were happy to get second, this year we were upset to get second. But then when you do look back at each individual event you say we broke a school record in the vault, we won the high jump, kids [have] two lifetime bests in the 400, lifetime best here, lifetime best there. Overall, if you go event by event, it doesn’t seem as bad in the overall outcome by losing to one point. Individually, I think we stepped up and they did good things.”

Murray State will begin the outside portion of its season with the Margaret Simmons Invitational at home on March 13.


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