STARKVILLE, Miss. – Ole Miss athletes claimed three event titles and produced a few of the best marks in school history on the Rebels’ opening weekend of the outdoor track & field season at the Conference Challenge, hosted by Mississippi State.
The Rebels teamed up with Mississippi State and Tennessee to help the SEC win both the men’s and women’s challenge against teams from the Big Ten, Missouri Valley and Western Athletic conferences at the Carl Maddox Track Facility. The SEC men out-scored the challengers 287-264, while the SEC women won 360-217.
Among the highlights for the 11th-ranked Ole Miss men were the throwers.
In his first college outdoor meet, freshman Onyi Afoaku entered the school record books at No. 2 in the discus and No. 4 in the shot put. He was runner-up in the discus at 177-8.25 and placed sixth in the shot at 52-6.5. He should be ranked among the nation’s leaders in the discus at the end of the weekend.
Junior Benjamin Lapane heaved a personal-best hammer throw of 159-4.75 to move up to fourth in the school record books.
Lapane also placed runner-up in the javelin with a mark of 216-5, which is just five inches shy of his personal best that ranks him third-best in school history. His mark on Saturday should rank among the national leaders early this outdoor season.
The distance runners paced the way for the Ole Miss women, including victories by junior Kayleigh Skinner in the 3,000 meters and sophomore Haley Cutright in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Skinner’s time of 9:51.04 in the 3,000 was a personal best and moved her up to No. 2 in the school record books.
Cutright was the lead runner in a dominating steeple for Ole Miss, which had four of the top six finishers in the race. She ran a 10:32.96 in the first time she has ever competed in the event to rank her second-best in school history, while senior Anne Threlkeld’s time of 10:48.10 ranks her fourth in school history.
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