BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Led by Sam Kendricks' school, meet and facility record pole vault, Ole Miss finished up its first indoor meet of 2014 Saturday at the UAB Blazer Invitational.
For the weekend, Ole Miss posted three individual event victories and produced a few marks that rank highly in the NCAA early this indoor season.
"I was proud of our attitude and effort from our team this weekend," Ole Miss head coach Brian O'Neal said. "We had a good week of practice and finished it off with two days of solid efforts here in Birmingham. We will continue to train and get better and look forward to coming back here next weekend and put a better foot forward at the Auburn Invitational."
A junior from Oxford, Miss., Kendricks cleared the bar on every vault he attempted, including the final height of 18-4.75 that broke his own school indoor record and is the top clearance by any American this indoor season. It also broke his own UAB meet and Birmingham CrossPlex records that he established last year.
"I knew that I was capable," Kendricks said of his record-setting jump. "The training the past few weeks has been difficult without the rest of my teammates in Oxford. But I got on a pole that I was very confident on. Like I said last year, if you never miss, you always win. And again I started off the year with a miss-less meet. I jumped as high as I wanted to and cut it off there. I was feeling excessively confident because of all my teammates out here today, so I decided to go for the school record and the No. 1 jump in the nation. It was very satisfying."
"On the first weekend of 2014 to go to the top of the national leaderboard without missing a bar is impressive," O'Neal said. "And he wants to be even better. He has high goals and aspirations going forward. I'm really proud of the job that Sam and Coach (Scott) Kendricks have put in to our pole vault program."
The Rebels also got an event victory from sophomore Onyi Afoaku, who set a personal best in the shot put with a mark of 55-2 that ranks him third-best in school history. He also placed fourth in the weight throw at 59-10.25.
The Ole Miss sprinters had a good early-season showing this weekend, as both senior Mike Granger and freshman Jalen Miller posted times that rank among the best in the NCAA. Granger placed second in his section and fourth overall in the 60 meters with a season-best time of 6.69. Unfortunately, he came up limping after a good start in the 200 meters. Miller placed third in his section of the 60 at 6.75 and fourth overall in the 200 meters at 21.62.
Junior Robert Semien placed second in his section and fourth overall in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.04.
On Friday, senior Phillip Young made his Rebel debut a good one by winning the triple jump with a mark of 49-2.25.
On the women's side, senior Fabia McDonald led the way with good showings in three different events. The All-American finished third in the high jump (5-6.5), seventh in the long jump (19-8) and seventh in her section of the 60-meter hurdle finals (8.77).
Newcomer Jhorden Hunter had a strong Rebel debut with her fifth-place finish in the 60 meters Section A final at 7.54. Her prelim time of 7.50 on Friday ranks her eighth in the Rebel record books.
Junior Taryn Hartfield placed sixth in her section of the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.64.
Freshmen Leanne Zimmer and Mary Alex England posted times of 2:15.43 in the 800 and 10:08.83 in the 3,000, respectively, that rank them top 15 in school history in those events.
Ole Miss returns to the Birmingham CrossPlex for the third straight meet this coming weekend for the Auburn Invitational.
Ahead of a rivalry renewed on a national stage, complete with a visit of ESPN's "College GameDay" and the mystique of a Saturday night game in Death Valley, here's link roundup of videos and stories from local and national media... read more
Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more
The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more
Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more
At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more
With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more