TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Ole Miss athletes won nine events and scored big points for Team Mississippi in the inaugural Alabama-Mississippi Border Clash, hosted by the University of Alabama Friday at Sam Bailey Stadium.
The No. 13 nationally ranked Rebel men helped Mississippi prevail over Alabama 107-92 by winning seven events and finishing in the top three in several more.
"I thought we competed well today, and I was proud of our attitude and our effort," said Rebel head coach Brian O'Neal. "We came away with a lot of personal bests and season bests, and we're starting to come together as a team."
The uniquely designed track meet pitted the trio of Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss against Alabama, Auburn and Samford for border state bragging rights. It featured a scoring system in which the top two finishers from each state scored points based on a 5-3-2-1 scale, and the top relay from each state scored on a 5-3 scale.
As usual, senior Ricky Robertson and junior Sam Kendricks put on a show, but Ole Miss showed its depth with other wins coming from a variety of freshmen, newcomers and veterans.
Robertson won the long jump with a season-best mark of 25-0.75 that ranks him among the top 10 in the NCAA this year, and he placed second in the triple jump with a mark of 51-2.25 that also ranks him top 10 nationally. He did not compete in his primary event, the high jump, on Friday.
Kendricks easily claimed the pole vault title with a height of 18-0.5. He is the current world leader in the event with a season-best mark of 18-8.25.
Freshman Sean Tobin won the 800 meters with a fantastic time of 1:47.99 that ranks him No. 3 in the school record books and top 10 in the NCAA this year. It was his first outdoor race at that distance in an Ole Miss uniform.
Freshman Robert Domanic won the 1500 meters in 3:47.01, which ranks him eighth in school history and top 50 in the NCAA this year.
Junior Robert Semien posted a personal-best time of 13.91 to cross the line first in the 110-meter hurdles. He is fifth in school history in the event and moves up into the top 20 in the nation this year.
Junior Phillip Young, a transfer from Florida State, won the triple jump with a leap of 51-3.75. That will keep him ranked top 10 in the nation so far this year.
Other highlights included Miller's personal-best times of 10.24 in the 100 and 20.85 in the 200 that both rank the freshman among the top 25 in the NCAA and the best ever in Ole Miss history. Junior Malcolm Davis posted a good long jump of 24-7.75 that placed second at the meet and makes him one of the nation's top 30 this year. The 4x400-meter relay team of Montez Griffin, Dameon Morgan, Holland Sherrer and Dante Oliver clocked a season-best time of 3:09.92.
The Ole Miss women garnered two event victories on the day, but could not help Mississippi to a win as the Magnolia State fell 121-76 to Alabama.
Junior Kierra White, a junior college transfer, won the long jump with a personal-best distance of 20-6.25 that ranks her sixth in school history and 10th in the NCAA this year.
Sophomore Mary Alex England captured a win in the 5000 meters with a time of 16:51.77 that moves her up to No. 5 in the school record books.
Other highlights included freshman Breanna Tate's runner-up finish in the 200 meters (24.53) and Taryn Hartfield's season-best time of 13.69 in the 100-meter hurdles that moves her closer to the nation's top 50 this year.
Senior Mary Ashton Nall is competing at the Bulldog Heptathlon in Athens, Ga. At the end of the first of two days of action, she sits in eighth place with 3,062 points. The final three of seven events will be held on Saturday at the Spec Towns Track.
Nall turned in a seventh-place performance in Athens with a season-best score of 5,278. That score ranks her 22nd nationally this season.
As a team, Ole Miss will return to action next week at the historic Mt. SAC Relays, Thursday-Saturday in Walnut, Calif.
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