April 7, 2018
Final Results (PDF) | Day One Recap | Preview & Links
ATHENS, Ga. – Ole Miss men’s and women’s track & field came away with four event titles and several impressive performances on the final day of the Spec Towns Invite at the University of Georgia on Saturday.
Competition was not scored this weekend, and the Rebel distance runners received the week off to rest and train, but Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith was pleased with the progress through this third meet of the outdoor season.
“The weather ended up being great, and we had some really good performances across all our event areas this weekend,” Price-Smith said. “It’s a good sign when our athletes are consistently hitting season and personal bests each week, and I’m looking forward to coming home next weekend to see even more improvement.”
Three of those event wins came from the No. 20 Rebel women, who have ranked within the national top-25 in 15 of the 22 outdoor rankings releases throughout the Price-Smith era at Ole Miss.
Senior All-American thrower Janeah Stewart led the way yet again with two high finishes in the discus and the shot put.
Stewart received the week off in the hammer throw (in which she entered the week ranked fourth nationally at 67.70m/222-01), and she used that extra rest toward a 10-foot season-best and a victory in the discus – her first in the event this outdoor season. The senior native of Calumet City, Ill., took the discus title at 54.39m (178-05) – winning by six feet over runner-up Hanna Barton of Wisconsin (52.59m/172-06). Her performance today puts her at No. 16 in the NCAA, No. 5 in the East Region and No. 3 in the SEC this season.
It was more of the same in the women’s shot put, where Stewart was the top-collegiate finisher at an SEC and NCAA East Region-leading distance at 17.11m (56-01.75), a near half-foot season-best that puts her No. 5 overall in the NCAA this outdoor season.
She didn’t complete a full triple this weekend, but it was an important step toward repeating as a tripler at the national meet (she was one of two to do so in 2017). Currently, she ranks within the top-16 nationally in all three of her events.
Stewart finished behind Ole Miss volunteer coach Jeneva Stevens in the shot put, who won at 17.51m (57-05.50) – currently the fourth-best throw in the United States this outdoor season.
Ole Miss was also able to sweep both the women’s and men’s 4x400-meter relays, with the Rebel women running a season-best time to move up the national and regional lists. The Rebel quartet of Jolie Carbo, Jasmin Allen, Orianna Shaw and Mercedes Mattix clocked in at 3:40.00 to win, putting them at No. 44 in the NCAA and No. 25 in the East Region.
The men’s relay of Alvin Westbrook, John Rivera Jr., Andrew Raspo and Christian Yancey, meanwhile, ran 3:17.33 for their victory.
The remaining Rebel victory on the day came from senior Shannon Ray in the 100-meter dash, her first victory of the year in the event. She clocked in at 11.46 (1.2 wind) for the win, with senior Nicole Henderson not far off in third at 11.81 (1.2 wind).
Today marked the end of the first full heptathlon for the Rebel women this season, a long two-day, seven-event marathon that ended with a career-best for sophomore Kieshonna Brooks.
Brooks, a native of Saint Kitts and Nevis, took second overall at a new PR score of 4,988 points – moving her up four spots to eighth all-time at Ole Miss and breaking her own national record in her native country, which was 4,683 points from the 2017 SEC Outdoor Championships.
Brooks had a stellar final day of competition, winning the long jump at 5.75m (18-10.50), taking third in the 800-meter at 2:37.13 and launching a new PR in the javelin to finish second at 35.62m (116-10) – the 14th-best throw in Ole Miss history. Her final score today moved her up to No. 22 in the NCAA. Unlike other areas, in the multi events, the top-24 national women’s heptathlon and men’s decathlon scores automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Also completing the heptathlon today were Haley Hood (fifth, 4,004) and Ghania Warren (sixth, 3,863) – with this being the first heptathlon for the freshman Warren.
Just one day removed from a massive career-best in the long jump, freshman Allen Gordon continued to impress with another career day in the high jump. Gordon took third today at a new overall PR height of 2.16m (7-01.00) – making him one of just five Rebel high jumpers to ever clear 7-1 outdoors, improving on his place in fifth place all-time at Ole Miss. Today’s clearance moves him into a tie for 11th nationally, sixth in the East Region and second in the SEC.
The Rebel men’s throwers also had a solid outing, with senior All-American Brian Williams taking third in both the shot put (17.83m/58-06.00) and discus (56.35m/184-10). Grad transfer Cullen Prena finished right behind Williams in the discus in fourth place at 54.63m (179-02).
Ole Miss returns home next weekend for the Joe Walker Invite, which is set for April 13-14 at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex. Included in the festivities will be recognition for the 2018 Rebel Track & Field senior class.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
Men’s 100-Meter Dash:
4. Andrew Raspo – 10.71
6. Manny Foster – 10.76
11. Courtland Barnes – 11.04
Women’s 200-Meter Dash:
12. Aisha Newsome – 25.38 – PR
Women’s 400-Meter Dash:
5. Jasmin Allen – 55.53 – SB
7. Porsha Shirley – 56.50
Men’s 400-Meter Dash:
4. John Rivera Jr. – 49.48
5. Alvin Westbrook – 49.77
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles:
4. Jeanette Paul – 13.99 – SB
6. Nolan Hesse – 15:17.70 – PR
Women’s 4x100-Meter Relay:
2. Henderson, Cameron, Carbo, Ray – 44.73
Women’s High Jump:
5. Jasmine Cherry – 1.66m (5-05.25)
Men’s Triple Jump:
4. Fraquan Gaines – 14.52m (47-07.75)
Women’s Shot Put:
7. Shey Taiwo – 13.74m (45-01.00)
9. Leah Klein – 13.02m (42-08.75) – PR, 10th all-time
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