LEXINGTON, Ky. – Led by the outstanding jumping feats of Ricky Robertson and a few school-record performances, the Ole Miss track and field team concluded competition at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships held at the University of Kentucky’s E.J. Nutter Field House Sunday.
Recording 53.50 points over the weekend, the No. 22 nationally ranked Rebel men earned a sixth-place team finish, while the Rebel women finished eighth overall with 34 points. It was the men’s best SEC indoor result since finishing sixth in 1994.
“I was very proud of how hard our teams fought,” Rebel head coach Joe Walker said. “We came up a little short of what would have been a perfect meet, but all of our kids gave great efforts. This is a much better effort than we had last year, and 2011 ended up being a great year for us, so I am optimistic about NCAA indoors and then outdoors.”
The weekend was highlighted by junior All-American Ricky Robertson, who was awarded the Cliff Harper Trophy for being the high-points scorer of the meet. Robertson tied for the award with Kentucky’s Luis Orta by scoring 20 points. Robertson is the second Rebel to score the most points at an SEC Indoor Championship, joining Tony Dees (1984).
“Winning the Cliff Harper Trophy was a great honor for Ricky,” Walker said.
Robertson captured his third consecutive SEC indoor high jump title, which also was his fifth straight league high jump title overall.
Securing the 2012 title Saturday, the Hernando, Miss., native is just the third athlete in SEC history to win three or more men’s indoor high jump titles, while his winning leap of 7-4.5 tied the Kentucky, E.J. Nutter Field House facility record and ranks him fifth in the NCAA this year. He also placed fourth in the long jump with a jump of 24-09.75 and fourth in the triple jump with a distance of 51-07.00.
Ole Miss witnessed dominant performances by several of its athletes on Sunday.
Junior All-American Mike Granger clocked a time of 6.63 in the 60 meters finals to finish second in the event, which earned the Rebel men eight points. Granger was the runner-up by only .001 second behind NCAA leader Harry Adams of Auburn. He beat out two-time defending NCAA champion Jeff Demps of Florida, as well as teammate Isiah Young, who came in eighth to provide the Rebels one point.
Freshman Robert Semien now ranks fourth-best in school history in the 60 meter hurdles after running 8.08 for a sixth-place finish in the finals of the event Sunday.
Young scored two more points for the Rebel men in the 200 meters, where he finished seventh with a time of 21.29.
Sophomore Kentrell Sanders’ triple jump mark of 50-04.75 placed him sixth and scored the Rebels three points.
The Ole Miss men’s distance medley relay team composed of Loren Newsom, Creighton Serrette, Riley Young and Kipchirchir Kiptoo now rank as the fifth-best distance medley relay team in school history after producing a relay time of 10:00.52 Sunday, which earned them a sixth-place finish and notched the Rebels three points.
Freshman Oxford native Sam Kendricks provided the Rebels 2.5 points with his pole vault height of 17-0, earning him a sixth-place finish in the event.
Oliver placed seventh in the 400 meters with a time of 47.99, earning two points for his team.
On the women’s side, senior Logan Waites rewrote her own history once again. The senior Hattiesburg, Miss., native broke her 5,000 meters school record from earlier this season Sunday when she recorded a time of 16:26.69. Her 5,000 meters time earned her a third-place finish, and provided the Rebel women six points.
Junior Jazmin Miller scored five points after finishing fourth in the weight throw (62-11.50), while senior Aria Gaines scored three points for the Rebels Sunday, as her triple jump distance of 40-10.25 earned her a sixth-place finish.
Other school records set during the weekend were by Fabia McDonald in the pentathlon (4,005) and Neal Tisher in the pole vault (13-10.50).
Next up for Ole Miss is the NCAA last chance meets, which will be held Saturday March 3. Walker said the team will decide Monday where and which athletes will be competing on that day.
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