GAINESVILLE, Fla. –Ricky Robertson achieved the top high jump in the world this year (7-7.25) to highlight a great weekend for the Ole Miss Rebels track and field team at the 68th Pepsi Florida Relays hosted by the University of Florida.
Robertson, who already led the NCAA in his premier event, now is also the best in the world for the 2012 outdoor season. His leap of 7-7.25 broke his own school record and eclipsed the Florida Relays and Percy Beard Track records that had stood since 1993.
“We had a great weekend,” Rebel coach Joe Walker said. “Isiah highlighted Friday, and Ricky and Sam highlighted today. We had a lot of good performances.”
One of the most prestigious track and field meets in the country, the Florida Relays attracts more than 3,000 athletes from the high school, collegiate and international ranks.
The No. 14 nationally ranked Rebel men held their own against fellow ranked squads No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Florida State, No. 11 Indiana, No. 17 Virginia Tech and No. 18 Georgia, while the women performed well up against the likes of No. 3 Clemson, No. 8 Texas, No. 11 Florida, No. 12 Georgia, No. 13 UCF and No. 22 Florida State.
Freshman Sam Kendricks captured the pole vault title Saturday with a season-best height of 17-8.50. The Oxford, Miss., native’s previous season-best mark was 17-4.5, which had him tied with former Rebel Kyle Wallace for second-best in school history. Saturday’s mark of 17-8.50 now places Kendricks in second place alone and should rank him in or near the top 10 in the nation this year.
On Friday, Isiah Young improved his own school-record time in the 200 meters, 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.
The Rebels also received impressive performances on day one of the Relays in the women's 1,500 meters, men's and women's 400-meter hurdles and women's pole vault.
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.
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.
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, Skinner ran a time of 4:36.71 and now ranks fifth-best in the school record books in the event.
The Rebels will return to action when they host the Mississippi Open on Saturday, April 14 at the Ole Miss Track and Field Complex. Admission is free.
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