AUSTIN, Texas -Ricky Robertson's NCAA-leading high jump on Saturday was Ole Miss' third event victory as the Rebels finished up their performances at the 2014 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
Robertson joined Sam Kendricks (pole vault) and the men's distance medley relay as event winners from the No. 12 nationally ranked Rebel men in Austin.
"The competition level at the Texas Relays makes for a great dress rehearsal for an SEC or NCAA championship," Ole Miss head coach Brian O'Neal said. "We saw that we were ahead in some areas, but we also saw things we need to improve upon. Our kids did show up and compete this weekend, and we're looking forward to coming back home for the Ole Miss Invitational next weekend."
The Texas Relays saw a number of world-leading efforts throughout the weekend, and Ole Miss athletes were right there in the mix. After the second week of the outdoor season, Robertson and Kendricks both rank top two in the world in their primary event.
"We depend on our veterans that have been battle-tested at SEC and NCAA championships, like Sam, Ricky and Phillip (Young)," O'Neal said. "They had really good performances and will continue to develop as the season goes along."
A fifth-year senior from Hernando, Miss., Robertson improved his NCAA-leading high jump mark to 7-6 to defeat a strong Texas Relays field. That jump also ranks him No. 2 in the world so far this outdoor season. He had entered the meet already ranked atop the national list with his jump of 7-5 at last week's Ole Miss Open.
"I felt pretty good about my performance," said Robertson after his victory. "I jumped better than I did last week, so that's a progression. I tried 7-8 in my last attempt, but I couldn't quite get it. There will be more times I'll be able to get it. I felt pretty good over the bar, though."
Freshman Jalen Miller made it to the final of the 100 meter dash, where he finished ninth in 10.42. He posted a prelim time of 10.36 on Friday to advance to the final.
Kendricks and the men's DMR highlighted the previous three days of competition in Austin. Kendricks cleared a world-leading 18-8.25 to win the pole vault, and the Rebels' squad of Robert Domanic, Montez Griffin, Will Spiers and Sean Tobin won the distance medley relay in 9:39.51, which ranks them No. 2 in school history.
"I jumped here last year and I had so much fun," said Kendricks after his win on Friday. "I jumped my highest and I was hoping to come back here and surpass that effort and I did. I didn't quite jump my personal record, and I think it was one of my good chances to do it, but I still had fun in this great competition. I'm just happy to compete at a high level every time."
Several Ole Miss athletes also competed in cold and wet conditions at the Memphis Invitational on Saturday. Strong headwinds contributed to worse than usual times and marks, but Ole Miss still got a victory from Margaret Harkness in the women's 3,000 meters and runner-up finishes by Nathan Loe in the men's hammer, Breanna Tate in the women's 100 meters and Amy McCrory in the women's 3,000 meters.
The Rebels are back in action this coming Saturday on their home track for the Ole Miss Invitational.
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