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.
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more
The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more
Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more
At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more
With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more