Big Records Fall at Ole Miss Classic Track & Field Meet
May 6, 2017
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The biggest was at the very end of the meet, when Ole Miss volunteer assistant and 2016 Olympian Gwen Berry broke the all-time American record in the hammer throw with a gargantuan effort.
On her first attempt of the invitational hammer throw, Berry let it rip to the tune of 76.77 meters (251 feet, 10 inches). That's a meter farther than the previous American record set by Amanda Bingson in 2013. It also ranks Berry No. 1 in the world this year and No. 11 in world history. She added throws of 76.04m, 74.81m and 72.27m for good measure.
"It feels really good," Berry said after her record-breaking performance. "I was happy I got to throw it at my home field. I had two weeks of pretty hard training and I just came out and did the best I could. It surprised everybody today, but it surprised me the most."
In addition to Berry breaking her own Ole Miss Track & Field Complex record, three more facility records fell on Saturday:
"We didn't have a lot of people here competing today, but we had a lot of quality," Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith said. "Alabama came over and ran a really fast 4x400 relay. The invite hammer went really well. In our individual events, the ones that competed did well. Having this competition was good for us going into SECs.
"It was a beautiful day for track and field and our second meet here at Ole Miss. Now you can say it's a nice fast track. It's a great facility, and I think the individual and events we had today showed that."
The No. 13 Ole Miss men were led by the big performance from Williams, who remains undefeated against collegians in the discus this season.
The 17th-ranked women got a big showing from senior Callie Watson, who won the pole vault with a personal-best jump of 4.18m/13-8.5. That ranks the Tupelo native 23rd in the NCAA this year.
Ole Miss athletes won a total of nine events in their final home meet of the 2017 season. Junior Nolan Hesse got the other men's victory in the 3000 meters (personal-best 9:08.23). Other women's triumphs included junior Jolie Carbo in the 400 meters (53.78), junior Katherine MacNeal in the 1500 meters (personal-best 4:24.13), freshman Jeanette Paul in the 100-meter hurdles (13.66), freshman Lilli Williamson in the high jump (1.70m/5-7), freshman Kaira Simmons in the long jump (5.86m/19-2.75) and junior Janeah Stewart in the hammer throw (62.89m/206-4).
Another Ole Miss volunteer assistant, Jeneva Stevens, captured the women's shot put victory with a season-best throw of 18.44m/60-6 that ranks her eighth in the world this year. Stewart was runner-up in the shot put with a heave of 17.27m/56-8.
The SEC Championships are Thursday-Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina. Ole Miss is one of 12 nationally ranked men's teams and 11 top-25 women's teams heading into what should be a monumental clash of titans in the Palmetto State.
For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.
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