Fast Times Highlight Impressive Day Two of Vanderbilt Invite
Jan. 20, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After a strong Day One in the field, it was the Rebel track athletes that stole the show at Day Two of the Vanderbilt Invite on Saturday.
"This was another good, solid meet under our belt," said Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith. "I feel that we are making good progress this early in the season, but I know that we still have areas to improve in. We're seeing a lot of great performances so far, and I'm excited to see where we keep going."
Freshman Waleed Suliman made his NCAA track debut in dramatic fashion, establishing himself as a bonafide player on the national scene in the 800-meter. Suliman finished runner-up in the 800 today, running a blistering 1:48.94 in his collegiate opener. That time immediately launches him up to fifth all-time in Ole Miss history, as well as fourth in the NCAA and second in the SEC this season (behind today's winner, Mississippi State's Marco Arop; 1:48.21).
Suliman is the latest in a recent string of success in the 800 for the Rebel men indoors. Just last year Price-Smith and distance coach Ryan Vanhoy sent two to the national meet in the 800 in All-Americans Craig Engels and Ryan Manahan.
Other Rebels finishing high in the men's 800 were freshman Everett Smulders (seventh, 1:50.36, 12th all-time), freshman Griffin Riley (ninth, 1:51.22, 14th all-time) and sophomore Parker Scott (10th, 1:52.86, indoor PR).
The No. 8 Rebel women had a solid day in their version of the 800-meter as well. Junior Maddie McHugh, an NCAA East Region qualifier in the 800 outdoors as a sophomore, finished fifth overall at an open of 2:08.24. She currently ranks No. 2 in the SEC and ninth in the NCAA.
Senior Jolie Carbo was the catalyst for the Rebel women's sprinters on Saturday following a career night in the 200-meter on Friday. Carbo took third in the 400-meter at a huge career-best of 54.20 seconds -- a PR of more than half a second. Carbo leaps up to fourth all-time at Ole Miss after finishing second in the fast heat today, pushing her up to 12th nationally and third in the SEC.
Carbo also ran the leadoff leg on a historic women's 4x400-meter relay on Saturday. The quartet of Carbo, Jasmin Allen, Maddie McHugh and Mercedes Mattix finished third at 3:40.65, the fastest time at Ole Miss in six years and the 18th-best in the NCAA right now. Carbo kicked things off with a 54.51 opening split, followed by 55.11 by Allen, 55.73 by McHugh and a 55.29 anchor leg by Mattix.
Today's 4x400 time is the fastest at Ole Miss since Lauren Hollingsworth, Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen, Monica Williams and Kristin Bridges ran 3:37.74 at the 2012 SEC Indoor Championships -- still the fifth-best relay in school history.
The Rebel women's milers came ready to compete on Saturday as well. Senior Kat MacNeal led the charge in the seeded heat of the women's mile, finishing third overall at a four-second PR time of 4:48.07 -- pushing her to fourth all-time at Ole Miss and 24th in the NCAA right now. Junior Hannah Christen took sixth at a PR of 4:51.30 (eighth all-time, 44th NCAA), with senior Anna Braswell right behind her in eighth at 4:52.37.
Sophomore Jeanette Paul also had a fine day on the track, advancing to the final in the 60-meter hurdles and finishing fifth at a season-best 8.66.
It wasn't all track on Saturday, though, as the high-caliber Rebel field athletes had another solid day of work.
Senior All-American Brian Williams improved in the shot put, taking top collegian honors in a runner-up finish at a season-best 18.69m (61-04.00). Williams, a Second-Team All-American indoors in the shot put last year, now ranks 16th in the NCAA.
The women's shot put featured as similarly a great field as the incredible women's weight throw field last night. Ole Miss volunteer coach Jeneva Stevens -- fresh off a night that saw her become the fifth-best in the weight throw in the history of the world -- took the shot title at 17.60m (57-09.00). Fellow volunteer coach Jessica Ramsey took fourth at 16.22m (53-02.75), and senior All-American Janeah Stewart was fifth at 16.15m (53-00.00).
Other high field finishes for the Rebels included senior Lindsey Murray in the pole vault, who finished tied for third at a season-best 4.07m (13-04.25), and fellow senior Lanae Newsome in the triple jump (eighth, season-best 12.16m/39-10.75).
Ole Miss will keep the pedal down next week with another high-powered meet at Arkansas for the Razorback Invite on Jan. 26-27 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Other Notable Finishes
Men's 60-Meter Dash (Prelims):
Women's 60-Meter Hurdles (Prelims):
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