NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three individual event victories highlighted the Ole Miss Rebels’ performance at this weekend’s Meyo Invitational, hosted by the University of Notre Dame.
The No. 17 Ole Miss men competed against a field of nearly 50 teams that included other nationally ranked teams in No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Indiana, No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 15 Mississippi State and No. 22 Oklahoma, while top-25 women’s teams include No. 17 Indiana State, No. 18 Baylor and No. 21 South Carolina.
Morris Kersh claimed the men’s triple jump title, while Asia Cooper won the women’s 60 meters and Allegra Wells won the women’s long jump at the 26th edition of the Meyo Invitational. A school record also went down as Haley Cutright shattered the Rebel record in the 3,000 meters – her second school record in as many meets this season.
“I was pleased with our efforts on the weekend,” head coach Brian O’Neal said. “We had a lot of PRs and lifetime bests. Anytime you set lifetime bests it means you’re competing at a high level because that is the best you’ve ever done. This is weekend one in the championship phase of our season. I think we started off on the right foot. We’ll get back to training on Monday and get ready for the next step in New Mexico.”
Kersh, a senior from Pearl, Miss., leaped to a personal-best 51-8.5 to win the triple jump on Saturday. He moves to No. 6 on the all-time Rebels’ list and will be ranked among the top 10 nationally this year.
“Morris had an excellent night,” O’Neal said. “He has battled through injuries the last couple of years, so we developed a plan to make sure that at the end of his season he would be healthy and strong. He bought into that idea, and today we saw a little glimpse of what he can do over the next month. We expect him to be one of the nation’s elite.”
Cooper, a freshman by way of Jackson, Miss., turned in her fourth short sprint win in five college meets with another sensational performance. In the 60-meter final, she crossed the finish line first in 7.43, a personal best that ranks her fifth-best in school history.
“Asia continues to be a star for us,” O’Neal said. “What she’s done has to be one of the best starts that I can remember in Ole Miss history. I’m really proud of her. The thing that makes her so good is that she loves to compete and she loves to win wearing the Ole Miss jersey.”
Wells claimed the long jump title for the Rebels on Friday, highlighting a strong team performance in the event that saw Marci Morman place third and Deonna Walton fifth.
Cutright set a school record in the 3,000 meters on Saturday with a time of 9:36.37 to finish eighth, edging out teammate Anne Threlkeld who posted a 9:36.96 to place ninth.
“Haley has touched the track two times and produced two school records this season,” O’Neal said. “I’m excited about the start of her career here with us. Anne had a great race as well. She and Haley went back and forth and got the top two times in school history.”
Other highlights for the Rebel men included Montez Griffin placing fifth in the 400 meters with a personal-best 47.47 and freshman Onyi Afoaku’s 53-7 in the shot put to move up to No. 3 in the school record books.
The women’s distance runners had several personal bests, including three in the 5,000 meters with Katie Breathitt (7:19.51), Amy McCrory (17:26.86) and Kayleigh Skinner (17:28.32) all moving into the top five in school history in the event.
Ole Miss will return to action next weekend for the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.
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