Raven Saunders (Photo by Tyler Wooten)
March 19, 2016
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The outdoor track & field season began much like the indoor campaign for the Ole Miss Rebels, as they shattered three school records and put together a strong showing at the rain-shortened Alabama Relays over the weekend.
After Friday’s events were cancelled due to rain and weather, Saturday was a full day of competition that went very well for the Rebels, especially a particular well-known sophomore thrower.
Raven Saunders was on fire Saturday as she stormed back from a subpar shot put performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships a week ago.
In her outdoor debut for Ole Miss, Saunders shattered school records with wins in both the shot put and discus. In her signature event, the shot put, she heaved the ball 18.75m/61-6.25, setting an outdoor personal best along with a meet record, facility record and school record. It’s the best outdoor shot put ever by an SEC woman and moves her up to No. 7 on the all-time outdoor collegiate list. She enters the 2016 world outdoor rankings at No. 2 in the early part of this Olympic year.
Not as well known for the discus, Saunders made a big statement on Saturday with a throw of 56.85m/186-6, which also was a personal best that set meet, facility and school records. It’s a significant mark that would have ranked 13th nationally at the end of last season. Saunders’ previous personal best in the event was 168-0 last year as a freshman at Southern Illinois.
Saunders broke both records on her sixth and final throw of each event Saturday. She surpassed the previous Ole Miss records of 55-3 in the shot put (Davina Orieukwu, 2009) and 176-11 in the discus (Betty Williams, 2011).
The other school record fell Thursday night, when Dempsey McGuigan eclipsed his own school record in the hammer throw with a distance of 68.15m/223-7.
Senior Bo Ummels nearly broke a fourth school record in the women’s 1500 meters. She placed runner-up in a field of 68 runners with a personal-best time of 4:24.41 that ranks her No. 2 in school history behind the Rebel record of 4:22.43 set by Rachel Ellison in 2004. Ummels’ twin sister, Britt Ummels, placed fifth with a personal-best time of 4:25.45 that ranks her No. 4 in the school record books.
The women’s 4x100-meter relay squad got off to a hot start with a win in 44.52, defeating Mississippi State and Southeastern Louisiana, among others. It was the same quartet that ran at the NCAA East Preliminary last year and qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships – sophomore Nicole Henderson, sophomore Shannon Ray, junior Breanna Tate and senior Khadijah Suleman.
Senior McKenna Coughlin placed runner-up in the 3000-meter steeplechase, clocking a personal-best 10:45.32 that moves her up to fourth in school history.
The women’s pole vaulters altered the school record books quite a bit on Saturday. In her Ole Miss debut, sophomore Lindsey Murray cleared 3.95m/12-11.5, which ranks her No. 2 in school history. Redshirt-freshman Katy McAuley and junior Callie Watson both made a height of 3.85m/12-7.5 to rank fourth in the school record books.
Despite resting many of the top athletes that competed late in the indoor season, Ole Miss competitors still piled up 16 personal bests during the rain-shortened weekend in Tuscaloosa.
The Rebels will return to action next Saturday at the Arkansas Spring Invitational in Fayetteville.
For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissTrack, as well as Facebook and Instagram.
4. Dameon Morgan – 1:52.45
6. Holland Sherrer – 1:53.02
9. Mark Robertson – 3:56.78 (PR)
11. Abraham Merinar – 3:58.36
15. Taylor Caldwell – 3:59.77
16. Brandon Harvey – 4:01.35
17. Ian Carter – 4:01.43 (PR)
29. John Dalton Rohr – 4:06.39
Pole Vault – Section B
Barclay Angle – NH
31. Connor Harris – 6.17m/20-3
19. Peyton Moss – 12.09m/39-8 (PR)
Hammer Throw (Friday)
3. Dempsey McGuigan – 68.15m/223-7 (PR) (SR)
9. Kevin Conway – 60.44m/198-3
Nathan Loe – FOUL
19. Peyton Moss – 47.36m/155-4 (PR)
4. Taylor Corder – 2:11.45
7. Maddie McHugh – 2:14.17
17. Maddy Nikkel – 2:18.26
2. Bo Ummels – 4:24.41 (PR)
5. Britt Ummels – 4:25.45 (PR)
10. Leanne Zimmer – 4:34.22 (PR)
16. Katherine MacNeal – 4:36.74
18. Mary Alex England – 4:37.16
19. Anna Braswell – 4:37.39
26. Saga Barzowski – 4:41.64
28. Tavyn Lovitt – 4:41.91
32. Scarlett Fox – 4:42.61 (PR)
39. Nicole Park – 4:46.17
44. Haley Ward – 4:53.29 (PR)
100 Meter Hurdles
37. Sakisha Dovey – 16.19 (PR)
400 Meter Hurdles
12. Aisha Newsome – 1:03.52
3000 Meter Steeplechase
2. McKenna Coughlin – 10:45.32 (PR)
4x100 Meter Relay
1. Ole Miss (Henderson, Ray, B. Tate, Suleman) – 44.52
4x200 Meter Relay (Friday)
3. Ole Miss (Henderson, Ray, Mattix, D. Tate) – 1:37.60
4x400 Meter Relay
5. Ole Miss (Alexander, D. Tate, Mattix, Carbo) – 3:46.02
11. Alex Enright – 1.60m/5-3
13. Arielle Wallace – 1.60m/5-3
Lanae Newsome – FOUL
D’Lacia McKinley – FOUL
Kyla Lewis – FOUL
Pole Vault – Section A
6. Lindsey Murray – 3.95m/12-11.5
Pole Vault – Section B
2. Katy McAuley – 3.85m/12-7.5 (PR)
2. Callie Watson – 3.85m/12-7.5 (PR)
1. Raven Saunders – 18.75m/61-6.25 (PR) (MR) (FR) (SR)
1. Raven Saunders – 56.85m/186-6 (PR) (MR) (FR) (SR)
Hammer Throw (Thursday)
4. Annika Larsson – 51.82m/170-0
6. Raven Saunders – 51.16m/167-10