FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - There were only two Ole Miss Rebels competing on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championships Friday, but they made the most of their opportunity.
Sam Kendricks shattered his own school record in the pole vault en route to a third-place finish, and Asia Cooper advanced in the women's 60 meters at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
"We had two opportunities tonight, and it worked out well for us in both cases," said head coach Brian O'Neal.
Kendricks, a sophomore from Oxford, Miss., had the biggest performance of his stellar collegiate career to date. He cleared 18-4.5 to shatter his own school record (18-1.75 from earlier this season) and finished third behind Arkansas' Andrew Irwin and Oral Roberts' Jack Whitt.
"Sam came into the national championships and set two school records and two personal bests for an incredible night," O'Neal said. "We have three scoring opportunities on the men's side and we're looking to make the most of each one of those.
"Last year Sam's mark would have won the national meet, so that lets you know tonight was definitely a strong competition."
Kendricks garnered six points for the Ole Miss men, who entered the national meet ranked 23rd. He achieved the highest national indoor pole vault finish in school history, besting a fourth-place result by Baker Vinci in 1985. Kendricks earned 10th place at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships, his best national finish before this weekend.
Cooper earned a spot in Saturday's 60 meter final by running a 7.31, claiming the eighth and last spot. The Jackson, Miss., native is one of two freshmen who advanced to the final at this shortest and fastest race of the national indoor meet. She tied her personal-best time, which she previously set at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque when she actually ran a 7.29 that was converted to 7.31 due to the altitude.
"I'm proud of the way that Asia came in here and competed tonight," O'Neal said. "She was composed. The name of the game was to advance, and she did that. She's back with our trainer, Corbit Franks, getting treatment and getting ready to go tomorrow. We expect her to come out and compete with pride."
Cooper is the second Ole Miss woman ever to advance to the 60 meter final. Teneeshia Jones placed third in 2000 and seventh in 2001.
The women's 60 meter final will take place at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday. Fans can watch the ESPN3 live stream here.
Senior Ricky Robertson will compete in the men's high jump (3:30 p.m.) and triple jump (6 p.m.) on Saturday.
THE SEASON: Ole Miss Basketball (2014) - Episode 7 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, here are each of the first six episodes of The Season: Ole Miss Basketball:Episode 1 (Season overview, Auburn, Mississippi State games)Episode... read more
In less than a full indoor season with the Ole Miss track & field team, Australian distance runner Daniel Bulmer has had a significant impact on the school record books and set the stage for a lot more to come... read more
What a Win tonight... Very Proud of our team #ProudCoach #Passion #Process #1MISSion-- Matt Insell (@minsell) March 6, 2014 What a great win for our program tonight! This team has come so far! Watch us take on Auburn tomorrow night... read more
Proceeding from 1995 to 1996, we will highlight moment No. 23 in head coach Billy Chadwick's career. This particular moment will accentuate a tremendous individual accomplishment. In 1996, Sweden's Johan Hede became the first Rebel in Ole Miss tennis history... read more
The Ole Miss women's basketball team looks to carry the momentum from a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day this past Sunday into this week's Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The Rebels are... read more
Ole Miss and Arkansas are both looking to improve their Southeastern Conference standing and possibly play their way into a top-four seed and a double bye to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament next week in Atlanta. The Rebels are... read more
Senior Bo Wallace returns at quarterback and will go through spring drills for the first time since 2012, having missed spring practice last year recovering from offseason shoulder surgery."I feel like strength-wise, I'm a lot better than I was at... read more
Audio of Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell's time on the SEC teleconference Monday as well as audio of Arkansas head coach Tom Collen and Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. Ole Miss is the No. 14 seed in this week's... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss posted four straight walk-off wins this past week on the way to two wins over ULM and a sweep of UCF.- Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis has not allowed... read more
To begin this week, we are ending 1995 for moment No. 24. This moment is another first for the Ole Miss tennis program and is the product of a true collective effort by Coach Chadwick and the Rebels.By now, you... read more
Photo GalleryA total of 25 scouts representing 22 NFL teams were on hand at Ole Miss' annual Pro Day Monday, including former Rebel Von Hutchins, now with the Oakland Raiders organization. Donte Moncrief, who participated in the 2014 NFL Combine,... read more
Highlights of Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy's time on the SEC teleconference Monday, as well as selected questions and answers from Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. The Rebels close out the regular season... read more