School Record and NCAA Lead Highlight Day One of Trailblazer Challenge
March 23, 2018

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LOS ANGELES
– Ole Miss track & field got to work at Day One of the inaugural Trailblazer Challenge on Friday afternoon, with two Rebel seniors leading the way with nationally prominent finishes in the hammer and the discus.


Senior and defending SEC discus champion, Brian Williams, wasted no time finding the swing of things in his signature event, hitting an NCAA-leading distance on his very first toss of the season at 61.20m (200-09). That throw puts him at the top of the national leaderboard by seven feet and puts him in good shape to make a run to defend his First-Team All-American finish after finishing fourth in the discus at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships.


Graduate transfer Cullen Prena took fourth place to score for the Rebel men, tossing 53.51m (175-07), which registers as the sixth-best in Ole Miss history and the 10th-best in the East Region early on this outdoor season.


Senior All-American Janeah Stewart picked up her outdoor season where her amazing indoor year left off, taking a runner-up finish in the women’s hammer throw. Stewart, who ended the indoor season as the No. 5 weight thrower in NCAA history, uncorked a 10-foot career-best of 67.70m (222-01) to break her own school record from last season of 64.69m (212-03). Stewart sits No. 3 on the NCAA season list and No. 2 in the East Region after today, trailing only today’s winner, Stamatia Scarvelis of Tennessee, who won on a throw of 68.37m (224-04) on her fifth attempt to overtake Stewart.


Stewart also scored for the Rebel women as the top Ole Miss finisher in the discus, taking fourth place at 50.36m (165-03) – 10th-best on the East Region list.


It was an equally productive day for sophomore Kendall Chavarria in the hammer, who unleashed an even bigger PR in fourth place at 56.91m (186-08) – an 18-foot career-best to push her from ninth to fifth all-time at Ole Miss. Chavarria also puts herself in a good spot to start the season at No. 29 in the NCAA and No. 20 in the East Region.


Freshman Shey Taiwo launched herself up the all-time list as well in her first collegiate hammer throw competition, finishing fifth at 54.84m (176-08) – 35th-best in the East Region at the moment. Junior Annika Larsson also scored in sixth at 53.53m (175-07), which ties for No. 37 on the East Region list.


At the end of Day One and through two scored events, Ole Miss sits within the top-three in the team standings in both women’s and men’s competition. The Rebel women trail only Tennessee, 22-19, after the Volunteers swept the titles in both events today. The Rebel men sit in third with 14 points, not far off from both Miami and Tennessee, who are tied for first at 18 points. Scoring for the Trailblazer Challenge deviates slightly from the standard eight-place scoring, with the top-six in each event scoring at 10-8-6-4-2-1.


The Trailblazer Challenge, which features the five Power-5 schools that have women in charge of both the men’s and women’s track & field programs (Miami, Amy Deem; Ohio State, Karen Dennis; Ole Miss, Connie Price-Smith; Tennessee, Beth Alford-Sulivan; USC, Caryl Smith Gilbert), resumes tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT.


Women’s Team Scores (Through two events):

1. Tennessee – 22

2. Ole Miss – 19
3. Miami – 14
4. USC – 6

5. Ohio State - 1


Men’s Team Scores (Through two events):

1. Miami – 18

1. Tennessee – 18

3. Ole Miss – 14

4. USC – 8

5. Ohio State - 4


OTHER REBELS IN COMPETITION


Women’s Discus:

7. Leah Klein – 44.94m (147-05) – 6th all-time

9. Shey Taiwo – 38.73m (127-01) – 13th all-time


Women’s Hammer:

8. Leah Klein – 44.85m (147-02) – 15th all-time


Men’s Hammer:

8. Cullen Prena – 55.45m (181-11) – 8th all-time, 30th East Region

9. Chris Long – 48.44m (158-11) – 10th all-time


For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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