Stewart Resets NCAA Lead to Kick Off Busy Rebel Weekend
Feb. 9, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Janeah Stewart has shown an inability to slow down at all this indoor season, and Friday night she proved so again with a historic performance in the weight throw to begin a busy weekend for the Rebels at both Vanderbilt’s Music City Challenge and the Iowa State Classic.
Stewart, who just last week set the NCAA lead in the weight throw at the No. 4 throw all-time at 23.83m (78-02.25), set a new career-best by nearly one foot tonight at the Music City Challenge at 24.12m (79-01.75) – becoming the first collegian to eclipse the 79-foot barrier since 2008. Only one collegian has ever surpassed 80 feet: former pupil of Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith and throws coach John Smith, Brittany Riley, who set the collegiate (and world) record at Southern Illinois in 2007 (25.56m/83-10.25) and owns nine of the top-10 throws in NCAA history. Price-Smith and Smith are now responsible for two of the top-three in the history of the sport collegiately, as well as three of the top-five when accounting for Rebel volunteer coach Jeneva (McCall) Stevens’ 2012 mark of 23.76m (77-11.50) at SIU that ranks fifth all-time.
Stewart has rewritten the history books just about each week this season, but tonight’s performance warrants some serious revision. Stewart’s heave tonight puts her at eighth in the event in the history of the United States and ninth in the history of the world (giving Price-Smith and Smith pupils six of the top 11 marks worldwide), and moves her to No. 3 all-time in the NCAA – now just two inches off of second place (and the SEC record) set by Florida’s Candice Scott in 2005 (24.17m/79-03.75). Stewart now has a near two-foot lead on the national leader board this season.
Stewart was the top collegian but finished runner-up behind volunteer coach and world record holder, Olympian Gwen Berry, who won at a world-leading 25.27m (82-11.00) – a new season-best by nearly two feet and coming within one foot of her world record of 25.60m (84-00.00) set last year (which broke Riley’s 2007 mark).
Volunteer coach Jessica Ramsey also set a season-best in fourth place at 22.74m (74-07.25), tied for seventh-best in the world this year. Freshman Shey Taiwo, who entered the week as the NCAA’s top-ranked freshman in the event, took ninth at 19.29m (63-03.50).
Senior All-American Dempsey McGuigan put up another solid day’s work in the men’s weight throw, taking fifth place at 20.72m (68-00.00) – which just a week ago would have registered as a new career-best before his school-record 21.11m (69-03.25) last week at SIU’s Don DeNoon Invite.
Graduate transfer Cullen Prena took eighth in the weight at 19.33m (63-05.25).
Sophomore Manny Foster led a strong day in the long jump for the Rebels, taking runner-up honors in the men’s version at 7.46m (24-05.75). Fellow sophomore Kieshonna Brooks took fourth in the women’s long jump at a new career-best 5.73m (18-09.75) and was joined in the final by Kaira Simmons (seventh, 5.73m/18-09.75) and Ralesheia Gee (ninth, 5.67m/18-07.25).
Ole Miss also had a handful of other season-best performances at Vanderbilt today. Senior Shannon Ray took fourth in the 200-meter at a season-best 24.14 seconds, followed by two more SB’s by Nicole Henderson (12th, 24.60) and Alia Holmes (14th, 24.65).
It was a solid day in the women’s high jump as well, with Jasmine Cherry setting a new career-best height in fourth place at 1.66m (5-05.25), and Lilli Williamson clearing a season-best 1.61m (5-03.25) in eighth.
Meanwhile in Ames, Iowa, a delegation of Rebel distance runners ran at Day One of the distance-focused Iowa State Classic.
Fresh off a career-best in the mile at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York City last week, senior Sean Tobin ripped off another personal best – this time in the 3K. Tobin finished eighth overall in the invite section of the 3K, running a three-second PR at 7:55.08. He now improves upon his place in third all-time at Ole Miss, which would have ranked eighth in the NCAA on the national list entering today.
Also running in an invite section were Hannah Christen and Anna Braswell in the invite 5K. Christen finished 22nd overall at an 11-second PR time of 16:44.06, which improves upon her place in seventh all-time at Ole Miss. Braswell finished 23rd at 17:02.88.
Freshman Clio Ozanne-Jaques ran in the open section of the 5K, taking sixth overall in her first collegiate 5K race at 16:49.47 – the eighth-fastest time at Ole Miss behind Christen’s from today.
On the men’s side, Mark Robertson ran the ninth-best 5K in school history with a 31st-place finish in the open section at 14:23.66.
Competition resumes for both meets tomorrow morning, with the Music City Challenge kicking back off at 10:30 a.m. and Iowa State hitting the track again at noon.
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