Saxony Lutheran alum wins heptathlon, SEMO women win OVC title

The Southeast Missouri State women’s track and field team celebrates winning the Ohio Valley Conference championship on Saturday, May 11, in Charleston, Illinois.
Jacob Blassingame ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian

The Southeast Missouri State women’s track and field team won the Ohio Valley Conference championship for the second consecutive year by dominating the meet with 197 total points on Saturday, May 11, at Charleston, Ill.

Saxony Lutheran alum and SEMO sophomore Anna Thomason won the heptathlon by amassing 4815 total points and placing in the top three in five events during the two-day competition.

“It was such a joy and blessing to finally get to see my hard work pay off,” Thomason said. “I remember getting emotional and crying down the final stretch of the 800 because I knew I had pulled it off. I was also just so relieved when it was over too.”

Thomason also finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles and placed sixth in the javelin on top of winning the heptathlon.

“I ran and competed in 11 events this weekend,” Thomason said. “It was exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love getting to compete, and I’m so thankful God gave me strength to get through it all.”

Thomason said the hardest events to run during the heptathlon were the 200-meter dash and long jump.

“We had to run it twice, and it was the last event on Day 1, so my legs were already toast,” Thomason said. “Mentally, was probably the long jump, because I needed to get a good jump out there in order to secure a lead in the hep, and it almost didn’t come.”

Thomason was among a handful of local Redhawks who had success in the conference meet. Cape Central alum and SEMO senior Jaden Kight won the OVC title in the javelin by establishing a new PR of 158' 6". Delta alum and Kendall Holweg also placed fifth in the javelin with a mark of 123' 5" (PR). Jackson alum Layla Fliege finished the 1,500m in the top 10.

Southeast Missouri State sophomore, and Delta alum, Kendall Holweg prepares to throw a javelin during the Ohio Valley Championships on Saturday, May 11, in Charleston, Illinois.
Jacob Blassingame ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian

Among the men, who finished third in the team standings, Cape Central alum Connor Moore was a part of the Redhawks 4x400m relay that placed second and a 4x100m relay that finished sixth. Poplar Bluff alum Josiah Kilgore placed fourth in the javelin.

“It’s been so amazing to see everyone’s growth from high school to now,” Thomason said. “I adore my teammates and having people I grew up with just makes everything so special to me.

SEMO senior Breanna Miles was named OVC Female Track Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row after winning the championship in both the 400m and 200m. Brianna Dixon won OVC Female Freshman of the Year and OVC Female Field Athlete of the Year, after claiming the conference championship in the 100m hurdles, where she broke her own school record at 13.60. Paden Lewis was named OVC Male Field Athlete of the Year and Male Field Athlete of the Championship and Eric Crumpecker won his sixth women's outdoor Coach of the Year.

“Overall just so blessed to be able to compete with the coolest team and my best friends,” Thomason said. “All the glory to God because none of this would be possible without Him, and so excited about the future.”

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