May 11, 2018
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Ole Miss track & field is tied for the lead in the women’s team standings early on after the first day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships at the University of Tennessee on Friday.
The No. 23 Rebel women are tied with No. 18 Missouri at 15 points apiece through just two scored events so far: the hammer throw and the 10K.
It was a dramatic start to the day, with Janeah Stewart having yet another SEC title snatched from her grasp in the final moments. Stewart had led for most of the competition with her best of the day at 66.15m (217-00), but Tennessee’s Stamatia Scarvelis – the SEC leader entering the meet – bested her by a heartbreaking two inches on her final throw to win the gold medal. Stewart still earned her eighth career SEC medal with a silver, scoring eight points for the Rebel women in the process.
Also scoring in the hammer were sophomore Kendall Chavarria in seventh at a three-foot PR of 57.66m (189-02) – the fifth-best in school history and No. 45 on the East Region list – and junior Annika Larsson in eighth at 55.37m (181-08).
Ole Miss also claimed additional points in the women’s 10K, where freshman Nicole Rice led the way for the Rebels in sixth place at 35:34.82 – the seventh-fastest time in school history. Senior Emily Bean scored as well in eighth place at 36:05.81.
Ole Miss had a handful qualify for finals in the men’s and women’s 800-meter races, which will be run on Sunday. Freshman Waleed Suliman, currently the fastest freshman in the NCAA in the event at 1:47.29, won Heat One of the 800-meter prelims with ease, coasting to a victory at 1:49.89 to earn an auto-qualifier spot in Sunday’s final and finish third overall in the prelim.
Suliman looked in prime shape to make a run at the title on Sunday against a stout SEC field, clipping off a 55.93 on his first lap and kicking for a 53.97 on his second for the easy win.
There was more drama in the second heat, though, with fellow freshmen Cade Bethmann and Griffin Riley. Bethmann snagged the second-to-last time qualifier spot at a PR time of 1:50.02 – the seventh-best today – with Riley falling heartbreakingly close at 1:50.65, just .08 seconds outside of the final.
Junior Maddie McHugh punched her ticket to the women’s 800-meter final after earning an AQ spot herself. McHugh took second in Heat Two of the women’s edition at 2:07.45, giving her a shot to make the medal stand yet again in the 800. Indoors, McHugh kicked over her final 400 meters to narrowly push herself into the bronze medal in third place for Second-Team All-SEC honors.
Day One also saw an incredible gauntlet of competition from sophomore Kieshonna Brooks in the women’s heptathlon. Brooks, the national record holder in the event in her native Saint Kitts and Nevis at 5,057 points, set herself on a pace to destroy her own record with four personal-best performances on Friday.
Brooks sits in fifth place through one day and four events at 3,720 points, with 1,043 of those coming from a massive career-best day in the 100-meter hurdles to open the competition. Brooks ran the second-fastest time overall at a wind-legal 13.55 (+1.0), a two-tenth PR that pushes her to No. 4 all-time at Ole Miss and gives her the all-time heptathlon 100-meter hurdles record – besting Brittany Kelly’s 13.65 from the heptathlon at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
Brooks followed that up with three more PR performances in the high jump (eighth, 1.56m/5-1.25, 689 points), shot put (fourth, 11.44m/37-06.50, 624 points) and 200-meter dash (fourth, 24.71, 914 points). If Brooks even just ties her PR the remainder of the competition tomorrow in the javelin, long jump and 800-meter, she would score 5,334 points – which would rank fifth all-time at Ole Miss.
Competition resumes tomorrow morning at 9:15 a.m. CT with the resumption of the heptathlon.
Women’s Team Scores (Through Two Events):
1. #23 Ole Miss – 15
1. #18 Missouri – 15
3. #17 Alabama – 11
4. #15 Tennessee – 10
5. Mississippi State – 8
6. #6 Georgia – 6
6. Auburn – 6
8. #8 Texas A&M – 5
9. #9 Florida – 2
Men’s Team Scores (Through Two Events):
1. #3 Alabama – 30
2. #20 Mississippi State – 16
3. #1 Florida – 15
4. #8 Arkansas – 13
5. Auburn – 11
6. #6 Georgia – 10
7. #5 Texas A&M – 8
8. #13 Kentucky – 7
9. #12 LSU – 5
10. Tennessee – 2
Cade Bethmann – 800-Meter
Maddie McHugh – 800-Meter
Waleed Suliman – 800-Meter
Day One Medalists:
Janeah Stewart – Women’s Hammer, 2nd Place
Other Day One Scorers:
Nicole Rice – Women’s 10K, 6th Place
Kendall Chavarria – Women’s Hammer, 7th Place
Emily Bean – Women’s 10K, 8th Place
Annika Larsson – Women’s Hammer, 8th Place
Day One Heptathlon (Through Four Events)
1. Tyra Gittens (Texas A&M) – 3,842
2. Shaina Burns (Texas A&M) – 3,499
3. Maya Neal (Tennessee) – 3,397
4. Amanda Froeynes (Florida) – 3,298
5. Kieshonna Brooks (Ole Miss) – 3,270
6. Shayla Broughton (Mississippi State) – 3,265
7. Kiara Rhodes (Tennessee) – 3,158
8. Zaria Tillman (Mississippi State) – 3,038
9. Jordan Fields (South Carolina) – 3,021
Other Rebels in Competition:
Women’s 200-Meter Dash Prelims:
18. Shannon Ray – 23.60
23. Nicole Henderson – 23.99
Men’s 200-Meter Dash Prelims:
24. Andrew Raspo – 21.46
Men’s 800-Meter Prelims:
11. John Rivera Jr. – 1:51.33
10. Mark Robertson – 31:05.52 – 13th all-time
11. Robinson Snider – 31:16.59 – 14th all-time
14. Ben Savino – 31:54.93 – 15th all-time
10. Cullen Prena – 64.25m (210-09) – PR, 3rd all-time, 25th East
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