CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – With the upcoming celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Austin Peay State University and The All State would like to recognize some of the school’s incredible student-athletes.

As a Division 1 athletics program, Austin Peay takes pride in and hosts a wide variety of women’s sports teams including cross country, soccer, beach volleyball, golf, tennis, track and field, basketball, volleyball, and softball. In all of these teams, there is a lot of talent and dedication. Each and every one of them are expected to perform at the highest level on the daily.

The women on these teams do just that and more. Below are just a few of many of APSU’s most involved and hardest working athletes on campus:

Mikaela ‘Miki’ Smith is a graduate student from the US Virgin Islands and a member of Austin Peay’s track and cross country teams. She also acts as a senior leader of the university’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and is a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for the NCAA.

Smith was on the OVC champion 4×400 teams for both indoor and outdoor track, as well as multiple individual wins throughout the 2022 season. Following a successful premier cross country season in the ASUN, her track season is already looking bright with personal records (PRs) on the horizon.

When asked how she has managed juggling her life as a student-athlete, Smith stated that “[God] helped me stick to it, [He] kept restoring my hope.”

Smith racing during the 2021 OVC Championships for outdoor track and field | APSU Athletics

A member of the beach and indoor volleyball teams, senior setter Kelsey Mead lives a busy life both on and off the courts. Outside of athletics, Mead is also a member of the FCA, a Govs360 leader, and is Austin Peay’s SAAC president.

Her accolades include a recent nomination to the ASUN Fall Winners for Life team, three OVC Academic Medals of Honor, the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll for three straight years, and a position on the Dean’s List for her entire collegiate career.

Mead stated she feels it is important for herself and others in an athletic field “dominated by males, that [female athletes] have the chance to be surrounded… with all these… other student athlete women at [Austin Peay] as well.”

Mead playing during the 2021 indoor volleyball season. Photo by Robert Smith | APSU Athletics

Although sophomore Katie Bahn didn’t see in-game action her freshman year, she made up for it with a strong sophomore season as one of APSU’s goalies. Bahn, like Smith and Mead, is also a member of FCA and SAAC. Through SAAC, Bahn has also volunteered for a variety of on-campus events such as the GHOST trunk-or-treat event back in October. She has also stayed on the Dean’s List for every semester so far.

While Bahn said that her first year college left her facing a lot of change and unexpected adjustment, she has “met some of the greatest people… who have saved [her] from the lowest of lows and shared… the highest of highs” and that she is “thankful God has placed [her] where [she] is today, playing the sport [she] love[s] at the highest level.”

Bahn (left) with some of her soccer teammates. | APSU Athletics

These athletes, accompanied by their teammates, have been invited to a LeadHer event celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day on February 1, 2023. They will get to celebrate women’s athletics with dinner and a panel discussion.

LeadHer and this celebration aim to enrich the experience of female student-athletes during and beyond their time at APSU through leadership development, advocacy, and service.

The event will also kick off 50 days of celebrating women’s athletics, a look ahead at the next 50 years of Title IX, and a series of events with the goal of raising $100,000 in support of the university’s female sports teams.

Current and former female Austin Peay athletes will also be recognized at halftime of the women’s basketball game against Jacksonville at 1:00 pm in the Dunn Center on February 11, 2023. This will be preceded by a lunch for these athletes at 12:00 pm of the same day.