GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Led by another record-breaking performance by Isiah Young, the Ole Miss track and field team put together a strong opening day at the 68th Pepsi Florida Relays hosted by the University of Florida.
Young improved his own school-record time in the 200 meters Friday, speeding to a fantastic time of 20.35. The Rebels' junior All-American crossed the line in third place behind Florida State's Maurice Mitchell (20.08) and Ramon Miller of Team Bahamas (20.29). Young broke the 28-year old school record in the 200 meters last weekend and entered this meet ranked second nationally in the event.
"We had a good day overall with several season-best performances," said Rebel head coach Joe Walker, who has guided the men's team to a No. 14 national ranking. "We had good efforts in all event areas and that is a good sign for our team."
One of the most prestigious track and field events in the country, the Florida Relays attracts more than 3,000 athletes from the high school, collegiate and international ranks.
The Rebels also received impressive performances in the women's 1,500 meters, men's and women's 400-meter hurdles and women's pole vault on day one of the Relays.
Senior All-American Carson Blanks ran one of the nation's top 400-meter hurdle times of the year with a 50.79 to finish first among all college athletes and fourth overall in the event.
Junior Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen ran a personal-best time of 59.45 in the women's 400-meter hurdles and remains fifth-best in school history in the event. She won her heat on Friday and finished sixth among college athletes, 14th overall.
Senior Logan Waites finished 17th in the 1,500 meters clocking a personal-best time of 4:32.82, which now ranks her second-best in the event in school history. In the same event, teammate Kayleigh Skinner ran a time of 4:36.71 and now ranks fifth-best in the school record books in the event.
After capturing the pole vault title a year ago at the Pepsi Florida Relays, junior Neal Tisher finished fourth Friday clearing a height of 13-1.50.
One of the favorites in the 100 meters was Rebel junior All-American Mike Granger, who got off to a good start but stumbled during the race to finish with a disappointing 10.86. He entered the meet ranked seventh nationally with a season-best time of 10.19.
Competition at the Pepsi Relays concludes tomorrow, with several of the Rebels' top athletes vying for event titles and some of the nation's top marks.
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