FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -Ricky Robertson claimed his fourth straight Southeastern Conference indoor high jump title to lead the way for Ole Miss on the second day of the SEC Indoor Championships.
Robertson won his fourth straight title when he was the only man to clear the bar at 7-5 on Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center. He did not attempt any more jumps, since he competed in the long jump just minutes before the high jump began. He placed seventh in the long jump with an indoor personal-best 25-2.75, which ranks him sixth in school history.
The reigning SEC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year also plans to compete in the triple jump on Sunday.
Robertson became just the second athlete in SEC history to achieve four straight indoor high jump titles, joining Arkansas' Kenny Evans, who did so from 1998-2001. The senior from Hernando, Miss., now boasts five SEC high jump titles between indoor and outdoor competition.
The Rebels, ranked 19th nationally, are tied with league newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M for fifth place with 13 points at the end of day two, behind Arkansas (52), Florida (34), Georgia (27) and Alabama (17). Robertson scored 12 of those, while freshman Peyton Moss added one.
"I couldn't be any prouder of the way our kids competed tonight," first-year head coach Brian O'Neal said. "We fought the good fight. We represented the fighting spirit that is Ole Miss Track. We're not looking at the scoreboard right now. We're just going to line up tomorrow and give it everything we have and compete with passion and pride for the Rebel Nation."
"Obviously, Ricky had a great night," O'Neal added. "To be the second athlete in SEC history with four high jump wins in a row speaks to the type of athlete that Ricky is. He's the type of athlete we're recruiting and that we want at Ole Miss. What doesn't show up on the stat sheet is that he actually injured his groin in the long jump. Hats off to Corbit Franks for working with Ricky in between the long jump and high jump to get him in condition to be able to come back and perform at such a high level. But it was also Ricky being Ricky."
Moss placed eighth in the men's heptathlon at his first career SEC meet, shattering the school record with a score of 4,961. The Germantown, Tenn., native is the first Rebel to ever score in the heptathlon at SECs.
"Wow, what a performance by Peyton Moss to come into the toughest league in the United States in his first year competing in the multi-events and set a school record," O'Neal said. "He capped it off with a 15-second PB in the 1,000, and from the gun Peyton believed in the fighting spirit. He went out faster than he's ever gone out and just hung on and hung on. If he's a half second slower than what he ran, he doesn't score. He gave all that he had for the team."
Junior Montez Griffin came close to adding more points for Ole Miss, but he finished ninth in the 400 meter prelims with a personal-best time of 46.98. The top eight advanced to Sunday's final and will score points for their team.
Several Rebel women came so close to garnering points on Saturday, but they couldn't quite crack the top eight in what is considered the nation's best track & field conference.
Hartfield's 8.42 was a personal best that improved her standing as the third-best in school history.
Freshman Asia Cooper made it into Sunday's final of the 60 meters by winning her prelim heat and clocking the fourth-fastest time of the day at 7.35. She came into the weekend ranked as the nation's fastest freshman in the 60 (7.31).
Sunday's events get underway at 10 a.m. with the women's weight throw, which features Rebel senior Jazmin Miller. Among the events in which Ole Miss has highly ranked athletes are the men's triple jump (Robertson, Morris Kersh), men's pole vault (Sam Kendricks), women's triple jump (Marci Morman), women's 60 meters (Cooper) and women's 5,000 meters (Katie Breathitt).
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