Rebels Have Big Day Alongside World's Elite At Drake

Allegra Wells (photo by Ignacio Murillo)

Allegra Wells (photo by Ignacio Murillo)

April 26, 2013

DES MOINES - Several Ole Miss athletes had personal-best marks and clocked strong qualifying times while lining up alongside the world's best professional athletes on Friday at the Drake Relays.

With 19 Olympic medalists and many other Olympians competing at the prestigious track meet, the Rebels received personal-best efforts in the men's long jump and javelin and the women's long jump.

"I was pleased with our effort today," Rebel head coach Brian O'Neal said. "Our performances are beginning to be indicative of what our training has been like. What I was really excited about was that in some adverse conditions our kids stepped up to the challenge and competed. The amount of wind that was here today greatly affected the sprints and relays, but I like the way we are stepping up and competing. I feel like this team is coming together to fight and compete for one another.”

Junior Benjamin Lapane tossed a personal-best 219-1 in the javelin to place third. He remains third in school history and will move up in the national rankings after entering the weekend 42nd with his previous season best of 218-0.

Sophomore Malcolm Davis recorded a personal best of 24-5 in the long jump to place seventh.

The 16th-ranked Ole Miss men qualified for Saturday's finals in three different events.

Senior Isiah Young moved closer to defending his Drake Relays 100-meter title by clocking the top prelim time of 10.43.

The Rebels' 4x100 meter relay team of Robert Semien, Anthony Branch, Creighton Serrette and Young posted the second-best qualifying time of 40.28, while the 4x400 relay team of Dante Oliver, Montez Griffin, Serrette and Branch made the finals with the eighth-best prelim time of 3:10.40.

Junior Allegra Wells shined for the Ole Miss women with a second-place finish in the women's university long jump competition. She jumped a personal-best 20-5, which moves her up to No. 6 in school history. She was jumping alongside former Rebel Brittney Reese, the defending gold medalist, who turned in a world-leading 22-9.25 to win the event over a couple of fellow American pros.

The Ole Miss women advanced to Saturday's finals in three events.

Taryn Hartfield was sixth among qualifiers in the 100-meter hurdles (14.15), Shari Russell claimed the eighth and final spot in the 100 meters (12.21), and the 4x100 relay squad of Kiannah Alexander, Russell, Monica Williams and Asia Cooper came in fifth among qualifying units (45.86).

"As we're getting ready for championship season, we qualified well and gave ourselves a chance to compete tomorrow and put another positive number on the board," O'Neal said.

This comes after Thursday's performances that saw Kayleigh Skinner set a school record in the 10,000 meters and Mary Ashton Nall finish runner-up in the heptathlon with a personal-best score.



100 Meter Prelims
1. Isiah Young - 10.43Q

110-Meter Hurdle Prelims
Robert Semien - FS

4x100 Meter Relay Prelims
2. Ole Miss (Semien, Branch, Serrette, I. Young) - 40.28Q

4x400 Meter Relay Prelims
8. Ole Miss (Oliver, Griffin, Serrette, Branch) - 3:10.40q

Long Jump
7. Malcolm Davis - 24-5

Shot Put
27. Onyi Afoaku - 51-5.5

3. Benjamin Lapane - 219-1


100 Meter Prelims
8. Shari Russell - 12.21q
13. Jasmine Williams - 12.36
23. Asia Cooper - 12.52

100-Meter Hurdle Prelims
6. Taryn Hartfield - 14.15q

4x100 Meter Relay Prelims
5. Ole Miss (Alexander, Russell, M. Williams, Cooper) - 45.86q

4x200 Meter Relay
9. Ole Miss (J. Williams, Lundy, Buford, Moses) - 1:39.29

4x400 Meter Relay Prelims
13. Ole Miss (Hellberg-Jonsen, M. Williams, Buford, Alexander) - 3:43.16

Long Jump
2. Allegra Wells - 20-5
12. Shari Russell - 18-11.25
13. Marci Morman - 18-9.75

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