March 31, 2018
Final Results (PDF) | Photo Gallery
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss men’s and women’s track & field had a successful home open to the 2018 season with nine event titles and several impressive performances at the Ole Miss Classic on Saturday.
It was a gorgeous day at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex, where 11 different teams went head-to-head in non-scored competition. After a long trip out west to Los Angeles for a tight scored competition last week, the goal for Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith and her squad this week was to get reps and keep moving forward.
“It’s always good when you see them progressing from meet-to-meet,” Price-Smiths said. “Today we came out and didn’t have everybody compete in the events they normally compete in, but they were still progressing in the things that they did do.”
The Rebel women won six of those nine Ole Miss event titles on the day, with two alone coming from senior All-American thrower Janeah Stewart, who put in a long day’s work.
Stewart, one of just two to triple at the national meet in 2017 (the other being Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen), opened the day with a win in the hammer throw at a solid winning mark of 66.06m (216-09) to win by four feet over Minnesota’s Temi Ogunrinde (64.63m/212-00).
Not much longer, Stewart followed that up with a season-best performance to win the shot put. Her winning toss of 16.98m (55-08.50) was enough to beat Minnesota’s Kiley Sabin by nearly two feet, and it puts her at the top of both the SEC and NCAA East Region lists (entering competition), as well as No. 2 in the NCAA overall.
Stewart took fourth in the discus for the second straight week, still able to find enough left in the tank for a three-foot season-best at 51.20m (168-00) – which puts her at No. 33 in the NCAA and No. 13 on the East Region list.
“That’s hard to go back-to-back-to-back like that,” Price-Smith said, who is one of the most notable shot put-discus doublers in the history of the United States. “People don’t realize it, but it does take a lot out of you.”
Elsewhere, senior and 2017 NCAA steeplechase qualifier Shelby Brown had a huge open in the 1500-meter run, winning one of two Rebel women’s titles on the track on Saturday.
Brown came within nearly one second of her school record in the 1500 set just last year at 4:19.09, winning today at a very strong 2018 open of 4:20.37 to edge Temple’s Millie Howard (4:21.02) for the win. On the lists entering today, Brown’s time today puts her atop the SEC, second in the NCAA East Region and fifth nationally.
The other Rebel women’s win on the track came from sophomore heptathlete Kieshonna Brooks, who won the 100-meter hurdles in dramatic fashion. Brooks ran a career-best 14.00 (15th all-time at Ole Miss, No. 44 in the East Region), but the time had to be broken down into the thousandths of a second to differentiate between Minnesota’s Rachel Schow, who also ran 14.00. Once broken down, Brooks emerged victorious by three thousandths of a second at 13.993 to Schow’s 13.996.
Ole Miss also swept both women’s horizontal jumps events, the first coming from sophomore Kaira Simmons in the long jump. Simmons leapt an outdoor career-best 6.06m (19-10.75) with just a 1.3 on the wind gage, moving her up to No. 14 all-time at Ole Miss, No. 30 in the NCAA and No. 14 in the East Region. Simmons, who won today by seven inches, owns an overall career-best of 6.27m (20-07.00) from the 2017 indoor season.
Senior Lanae Newsome had a similar time in the women’s triple jump, winning by six inches at a near-PR distance of 12.38m (40-07.50). Her jump today – recorded with a 2.7 wind reading – puts her at No. 28 on the NCAA list and No. 15 in the East Region. Simmons also had a strong outing in the triple jump, recording a PR in third place at 11.94m (39-02.25) – the 11th-best jump in Ole Miss history.
The Rebel men took three titles of their own. On the track, freshman Cade Bethmann kept up his excellent start to the outdoor season with another PR in the 800-meter, winning today at a new career-best time of 1:50.47 – 10th-best in the East Region and No. 21 in the nation.
Ole Miss won two men’s titles in the field as well, including the first collegiate victory for SIU transfer Fraquan Gaines in the triple jump at 14.63m (48-00.00)
Senior All-American thrower Brian Williams put in another long but solid day’s work, winning his second straight discus title at 57.37m (188-03) and finishing runner-up in the shot put at 17.79m (58-04.50).
Oregon grad transfer Cullen Prena had an extremely successful day in the throws with two PRs in the discus and hammer.
Prena opened the day with a third-place finish in the hammer at an Ole Miss best 60.72m (199-02), moving him to fifth all-time, No. 43 in the NCAA and No. 25 in the East Region. He followed that up with a runner-up finish behind Williams in the discus at a big PR toss of 56.28m (184-08), good for third all-time at Ole Miss (in just his second outdoor meet as a Rebel), as well as 28th in the NCAA and eighth in the East Region.
In addition to the event winners, Ole Miss had several other strong performances elsewhere on Saturday.
The Rebel women’s sprinters had a field day in the 200-meter dash, placing seven in the top-10 and eight in the top-15 along. Senior Shannon Ray led the way with a season-best at 24.11 (w1.4), followed by Jolie Carbo in third (24.15, w1.4, PR), Nicole Henderson in fourth (24.22, w1.4), Mercedes Mattix in sixth (24.55, w1.4, PR), Porsha Shirley in seventh (24.61, w1.3), T’Aja Cameron in eighth (24.66, w1.3, PR), Jasmin Allen in 10th (24.85m w1.3, PR) and Orianna Shaw in 14th (25.18, w1.3, PR).
It was a similar story in the men’s 100-meter dash, where three Rebels found the top-10 at either season-best or personal-best times. Sophomore long jumper Manny Foster led the way, finishing fourth at a PR time of 10.59 on his day off from the long jump. Fellow sophomores Andrew Raspo (seventh, 10.64, w1.4, SB) and Courtland Barnes (10th, 10.89, w3.3, PR) rounded out the top-10.
Ole Miss also had a handful of successes in the vertical jumps and pole vault.
In the women’s high jump, sophomore Jasmine Cherry cleared a career-best 1.70m (5-07.00) to finish fifth, pushing her into a tie for 11th all-time at Ole Miss and No. 23 in the East Region this season.
Freshman Allen Gordon tied for the lead for the second straight week, only to fall on total misses. Gordon and the winner, Arkansas State’s David Phillips, both cleared 2.11m (6-11.00), but Phillips won with fewer missed.
Ole Miss gained a pair of third-place finishes in both pole vault events, with Nicole Kallenberger tying her season-best at 3.70m (12-01.50), and Peyton Weissmann clearing a new collegiate-best 4.95m (16-02.75) to give him sole possession of eighth all-time at Ole Miss and put him at No. 37 on the East Region list.
Up next for the Rebel track & field squads is a trip east to Georgia for the Spec Towns Invite on April 6-7.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
Women’s 100-Meter Dash:
2. T’Aja Cameron – 11.89 (w0.9) – PR
4. Porsha Shirley – 12.02 (w0.9)
Men’s 200-Meter Dash:
13. Alvin Westbrook – 22.60 (w0.4) – PR
Women’s 400-Meter Dash:
2. Aisha Newsome – 55.21
7. Maddie King – 2:15.30
3. Griffin Riley – 1:50.90 – PR, 32nd NCAA, 20th East
7. Trevor Gilley – 1:53.92
8. John Rivera Jr. – 1:54.35
3. Kat MacNeal – 4:28.01
8. Maddie McHugh – 4:34.60
14. Chelsea Drum – 4:41.55
16. Victoria Simmons – 4:41.84
10. Ben Savino – 3:58.24 – PR
13. Taylor Caldwell – 4:01.67 – PR
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles:
7. Jeanette Paul – 14.33
Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles:
5. Christian Yancey – 56.20
Men’s 4x400-Meter Relay:
4. Westbrook, Rivera, Yancey, Riley – 3:16.91 – fastest time at Ole Miss since 2015
Women’s Long Jump:
7. Ghania Warren – 5.53m (18-01.75) – Wind: 3.0
Women’s Shot Put:
8. Shey Taiwo – 12.70m (41-08.00)
9. Leah Klein – 43.92m (144-01)
8. Kendall Chavarria – 55.10m (180-09)
9. Annika Larsson – 53.93m (176-11) – SB
10. Chris Long – 49.41m (162-01) – PR, 10th all-time
6. Kendall Chavarria – 38.96m (127-10) – 10-foot PR, 13th all-time
8. Alex Enright – 37.30m (122-04) – SB
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