BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Ole Miss athletes broke one school record and set two meet records during the Auburn Indoor Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Saturday.
"It's important for us to remember that we're still in the month of January and still in a training phase," Ole Miss head coach Brian O'Neal said. "We're five weeks away from the SEC Championships, so what I'm looking for is to challenge ourselves to compete at a high level and to represent the Rebel Nation well. We had some pockets of success today. Our distance runners competed in their first track meet of the year, and it was good to have our complete team there with the sprints, jumps, hurdles and throws."
For the No. 23-ranked Rebel men, competing against the likes of No. 11 Auburn, No. 16 Florida State and No. 20 Mississippi State, it was again senior Ricky Robertson and sophomore Sam Kendricks putting on a record-breaking show for the fans.
Robertson did not compete in his signature event, the high jump, but all he did instead was win the triple jump with a meet-record leap of 52-8.25 that is the best jump in the NCAA so far this year. A personal best for the six-time All-American from Hernando, Miss., the mark ranks him third in school history in the event.
"Ricky was Ricky today," O'Neal said. "On his first attempt he becomes the NCAA leader and No. 3 all-time at Ole Miss. He continues to show that he's a well-rounded, high-level athlete that is capable of producing points for this team in all three jumps."
Kendricks broke the meet record in the pole vault, clearing 17-8.5 before missing on three attempts at what would have been a school-record 18-4.5. The Oxford, Miss., native broke his own school record last weekend with a vault of 18-1.75, tied for the best by an American this indoor season.
"Again it's indicative of the way our jumps group at Ole Miss is performing at an extremely high level," O'Neal said. "Sam pushed his record to 3-0. Instead of just going for a meet record or school record, he's beginning to think of himself as a contender for the national championship. He was competing at the bar that would have established him as the national leader and came up just a little short."
Montez Griffin, a junior from Batesville, Miss., also had a quality outing for the Rebel men. Griffin placed seventh in the 400 meters (48.20) and led the 4x400 meter relay team to a fourth-place result (3:15.71).
The Rebel distance runners competed in their first indoor meet of the season, and the women showed up in a huge way against nationally ranked teams in No. 1 Clemson, No. 11 UCF, No. 17 Georgia and No. 24 Auburn.
Sophomore Haley Cutright was victorious in the 1-mile run with a school-record time of 4:50.47. The previous school record of 4:50.71 had been held by Rachel Ellison since the 2004 SEC Championships. Cutright, who hails from Roanoke, Va., also placed eighth in the 3,000 meters with a personal-best time of 9:53.06 that ranks her fourth-best in school history.
Senior Anne Threlkeld, a native of Oxford, Miss., was sixth in the 1-mile with a time of 4:58.02 that ranks her fourth-best in school history and finished seventh in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:52.98 that ranks her third-best in the school record books.
"I was really impressed with Haley Cutright," O'Neal said. "For her to produce a school record the first time she touched the track, she arrived today as one of our new stars. I was excited to see that for her. Anne had a nice opener, as well, with two PRs. And I was proud of our women's DMR. To challenge the school record with all those young ladies running their second races of the day I thought was a gutsy performance."
In the sprints, it was freshman Asia Cooper continuing her assault on the Rebel record books for the third meet in a row. The Jackson, Miss., product crossed the finish line fifth in the 60-meter finals with a season-best time of 7.44 that ranks her tied for fifth in school history. It also ranks her 22nd nationally this season.
"That was Asia's first time being in this facility with the nation's elite in the short sprints, and she showed she was one of the ones to beat. She didn't have the start that she and I were anticipating, but I've been really proud of her consistency all season. She has a big future wearing the Red and Blue."
Long jump was a solid event for the Rebels, with Marci Morman placing fourth at 19-2 and volleyball player Allegra Wells getting fifth at 19-1.25 in her first meet of the season.
Senior Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen, who entered the meet ranked top 30 in the nation in the 800 meters, raced to a fourth-place finish on Saturday in 2:11.28, a season best.
After winning the weight throw competition at her first two meets of the year, senior Jazmin Miller placed third on Saturday and surpassed 60 feet again with a mark of 60-8.5. Her season-best throw of 62-8.75 ranks her 28th nationally.
Ole Miss will return to action this upcoming Friday at the A-State Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark.
Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more
If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more
The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with a 71-65 win at Mississippi State and a 59-57 victory over Tennessee. The Rebels improved to 10-4 in the... read more
Despite winter weather that affected many teams, it was a busy week for Ole Miss athletics. The men's basketball completed a 2-0 week and has positioned itself well entering the last two weeks of the regular season. The baseball, women's... read more
After missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to recovery from a torn labrum, sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been brilliant in his first two outings back in 2015, fanning 19 batters through 12.0... read more
For the second time in as many weeks, Ole Miss embarks on a Thursday-Saturday swing, returning home to host Tennessee on Saturday after a 71-65 win on Thursday at Mississippi State. During the previous week, Ole Miss was on the... read more
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The game hung in the balance. Mississippi State had just regained a 54-52 lead with 6:25 left, taking advantage of a 6-0 run. Head coach Andy Kennedy challenged his team, and junior guard Stefan Moody answered the... read more
Ole Miss and Cal will play a home-and-home football series in 2017 and 2019, the schools and ESPN announced Thursday. It marks the Rebels' first matchup with a Pac-12 school in football and will be only the program's second visit... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 10-16, 2015Men's Basketball- Ole Miss saw its six-game winning streak snapped with a one-point loss to No. 23 Arkansas Saturday night. Junior guard Stefan Moody and senior forward M.J. Rhett each scored 16 points... read more
The men's basketball team marches on toward March, the baseball team opened the 2015 season with a series win over William & Mary and the softball team prepares for its home opener under first-year head coach Mike Smith. The winter... read more
Riding a six-game winning streak, Ole Miss hosts No. 24 Arkansas in a battle for sole possession of second place in the SEC standings. The Rebels are looking for its fourth season sweep of Arkansas in the last five attempts,... read more