Stewart Sets NCAA Lead, McGuigan School Record at SIU
Feb. 2, 2018



CARBONDALE, Ill. - It was a banner night for the Ole Miss men's and women's track and field weight throwers at Southern Illinois' Don DeNoon Invite after two historic performances by senior All-Americans Janeah Stewart and Dempsey McGuigan on Friday evening.

After steadily improving each week this indoor season, Stewart exploded for the best throw in the NCAA in 12 years to win the weight throw title at an NCAA-leading mark of 23.83m (78-02.25). Stewart bested 2016 Olympian and former pupil of Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith and John Smith, DeAnna Price (22.47m/73-08.75), taking a half-foot lead on the NCAA leaderboard over Cincinnati's Annette Echikunwoke in the effort.

Tonight's massive two-foot career-best improves on her school record toss of 23.18m (76-00.75) that won the 2017 SEC Indoor title and registered as the SEC meet record. It also pushes herself into the upper echelon of collegiate weight throwers all-time, ranking her No. 4 on the NCAA list (as well as No. 3 in the United States this season). Both Price-Smith and Smith have now mentored three of the top-five weight throwers in NCAA history with collegiate record holder Brittany Riley (25.56m/83-10.25, former world record), Stewart's mark from tonight at No. 4 and Jeneva (McCall) Stevens' 23.76m (77-11.50) from 2012.

Freshman Shey Taiwo took third at 20.38m (66-10.50), and two more Rebels made the final in Kendall Chavarria in sixth (16.52m/54-02.50) and Annika Larsson in ninth (16.41m/53-10.25). Freshman Leah Klein took 12th at the 13th-best throw in school history at 14.89m (48-10.25).

It was nearly as impressive a night for McGuigan, who also went off for a massive career-best. McGuigan took runner-up at a two-foot best of his own at 21.11m (69-03.25), breaking a 15-year old school record set by Stacy Andrews in 2003 at 20.82m (68-03.75). McGuigan moves closer to contention for the NCAA Championships, moving up to No. 18 on the national performance list after tonight.

Graduate transfer Cullen Prena put in another solid night in the weight throw as well, taking third behind McGuigan at 19.31m (63-04.25).

After one night of action in just two events, the Rebel men sit in second place and the women third.

Ole Miss also had a delegation fly out west to the New Mexico Classic, which began this evening as well.

Sophomore Kaira Simmons led the way for the Rebels, taking sixth in the long jump at a team season-best 5.96m (19-06.75). Also placing high in the large long jump field were sophomore Kieshonna Brooks in 12th (5.81m/19-00.75) and senior Lanae Newsome in 13th (5.74m/18-10.00).

Other notable performances from Day One out in New Mexico included a season-best for Jasmine Cherry in the high jump at 1.61m (5-03.25) for eighth place, and a PR by freshman Peyton Weissmann in the men's pole vault, finishing tied for ninth at the eighth-best height in Ole Miss history: 4.83m (15-10.00). Sophomore Cole Colozzo took eighth in the vault at the same height.

Competition resumes for both meets on Saturday, with the addition of senior NCAA Champion distance runners Robert Domanic and Sean Tobin out on the East Coast in the prestigious Millrose Games at The Armory. Tobin will run in the Invitational Mile at 1:47 p.m. CT, and Domanic will run in the historic Wanamaker Mile, the classic finishing race of the meet that will air live on NBC at 4:50 p.m.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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