Rebels Start Strong at SEC Indoor Championships
Phillip Young took third place in the long jump. (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Feb. 27, 2015

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Ole Miss Rebels took advantage of scoring chances, broke a school record, and set themselves up for a big finish with a strong first day at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships at Nutter Field House.

At the end of day one, the Rebel men sit in seventh place (11 points), while the Rebel women are in 12th (three points).

"I thought our group came in with an attitude of competing, and I was proud of our efforts," third-year head coach Brian O'Neal said. "We faced some adversity early on and battled through it. What we have to do is rally around each other and keep staying the course and believing in what we do.

"We've talked all year about how athletics mirrors life. Sometimes you're going to be in adverse situations and things don't go quite the way you planned. But we're the Ole Miss Rebels. We always fight to the finish. Fabia (McDonald) overcame some adversity when she didn't have the hurdles that she wanted, aggravated her hamstring, and still set a personal best and top-10 pentathlon mark in the country. That's the kind of attitude we have to have."

Senior Phillip Young turned in a personal-best performance in the first of his events this weekend by placing third in the long jump with a PR of 25-1.25. He earned six points for the Ole Miss team and will garner All-SEC second-team status. He's now seventh in the school record books in the long jump. He is also slated to compete in the triple jump and 4x400-meter relay on Saturday.

"Phillip did a great job of competing and coming away with six big points for us," O'Neal said. "I'm looking forward to watching him compete tomorrow."

Sophomore Branden Greene scored the first points of the weekend for the Rebels with a fifth-place finish in the high jump. His clearance of 7-0.5 was just off his personal best of 7-1 from earlier this year.

"Branden was battling a bad back and fought hard out there today and put some positive points on the board," O'Neal added.

Junior MJ Erb ran down a Missouri runner at the close of the 3,000 meters to grab one more team point with an eighth-place finish in 8:16.62.

Several more Ole Miss men produced results that qualified them for Saturday's finals and set up a potential big day for the Rebels, who will have a total of 11 scoring chances on the board.

Sophomore Jalen Miller made his 6.57 in the 60-meter prelims look quite easy as he advanced to Saturday's final with the top time among all qualifiers. As he approached the finish line, he eased up and looked over his shoulder to check his competition. He entered the meet as the conference's top-ranked 60-meter runner.

The Rebel trio of Craig Engels, Daniel Bulmer and Trevor Gilley advanced through to Saturday's final in the mile with some stellar prelim performances. Engels broke away from the pack to easily win the first heat in 4:04.06, followed by Bulmer in 4:04.99. Gilley won the second heat in 4:05.72 to give the Rebels three scoring chances in the event final.

Senior Robert Semien produced a lifetime-best time of 7.80 to advance to Saturday's 60-meter hurdle final. His best time this season had been 7.90, and he remains No. 3 in the school record books. With the result, he put himself in a position to possibly advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Senior Dameon Morgan qualified for Saturday's 800-meter final by clocking the eighth-best time of the day with a 1:50.49.

"We gave ourselves a good chance to really score well tomorrow," O'Neal said.

Senior Fabia McDonald produced some magic on the women's side with a school-record performance in the pentathlon. She used indoor personal bests in the high jump (5-8.75), shot put (39-3.75) and 800 meters (2:16.27) to total 4,168 points and break her own school record of 4,057 from earlier this year. Her high jump clearance moves her up to No. 4 all-time in school history.

With McDonald's new record total, she stands a very good chance of qualifying for the upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships as one of the top 16 athletes in the nation in the pentathlon.

Freshman Brittany Kelly finished 10th in the pentathlon with a personal-best score of 3,830 that moves her all the way up to third in the school record books.

Freshman Brooke Feldmeier, who has been one of the SEC leaders in the 800 meters all season, advanced to Saturday's final by running a 2:08.53 and placing second in her heat.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissTrack and on Facebook at Ole Miss Track. And follow Coach O'Neal at @CoachBrianOneal.


MEN (4 of 17 Events)

1. Arkansas - 33
2. Florida - 24
3. Auburn - 20
4. Tennessee - 19
5. Alabama - 16
6. Texas A&M - 15
7. Ole Miss - 11
8. Georgia - 9
9. Missouri - 7
10. Kentucky - 1
10. LSU - 1

WOMEN (5 of 17 Events)

1. Arkansas - 49.5
2. Georgia - 22
3. Kentucky - 19
4. Auburn - 16
5. Tennessee - 15
5. LSU - 15
7. Missouri - 14
8. Florida - 13
9. Texas A&M - 12.5
10. Mississippi State - 9
11. Alabama - 7
12. Ole Miss - 3



60 Meter Prelims
1. Jalen Miller - 6.57Q

200 Meter Prelims
25. Darryl Brown - 22.31

800 Meter Prelims
8. Dameon Morgan - 1:50.49q
14. Derek Gutierrez - 1:51.02
16. Holland Sherrer - 1:51.14
27. Will Spiers - 1:54.61

Mile Prelims
1. Craig Engels - 4:04.06Q
3. Daniel Bulmer - 4:04.99Q
5. Trevor Gilley - 4:05.72Q

3,000 Meters
8. MJ Erb - 8:16.62 (1 point)
Wesley Gallagher - DNF

60 Meter Hurdle Prelims
4. Robert Semien - 7.80Q

High Jump
5. Branden Greene - 7-0.5 (4 points)
10. Adam Aguirre - 6-10.75

Long Jump
3. Phillip Young - 25-1.25 (6 points)
17. Adam Aguirre - 22-9
20. Branden Greene - 22-4.25
23. Malcolm Davis - 19-4.25

Weight Throw
11. Nathan Loe - 61-11
17. Kevin Conway - 60-3


60 Meter Prelims
15. Jhorden Hunter - 7.43
18. Shannon Ray - 7.50
20. Nicole Henderson - 7.52

200 Meter Prelims
17. Shannon Ray - 24.14
24. Deanna Tate - 24.37
27. Nicole Henderson - 24.49
29. Jhorden Hunter - 24.97

400 Meter Prelims
19. Kiannah Alexander - 54.83
36. Deanna Tate - 56.93
40. Breanna Tate - 58.76

800 Meter Prelims
5. Brooke Feldmeier - 2:08.53Q
10. Britt Ummels - 2:10.20
12. Leanne Zimmer - 2:12.83

Mile Prelims
18. Margaret Harkness - 5:02.72
23. Shelby Brown - 5:06.48
24. Scarlett Fox - 5:11.10

3,000 Meters
22. Bo Ummels - 10:15.69

60 Meter Hurdle Prelims
12. Taryn Hartfield - 8.55

Pole Vault
Lyndsey Acree - NH

Long Jump
18. Lanae Newsome - 18-9.25
20. Kierra White - 18-1

6. Fabia McDonald - 4,168 (SR) (3 points)
10. Brittany Kelly - 3,830






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