May 25, 2018
Results | Day One Recap | Preview & Links
TAMPA, Fla. – Drama was in high supply at Day Two of the NCAA East Regional, as Ole Miss track & field punched several tickets to the national meet in thrilling fashion on Friday.
The Rebels saved their most stressful moments for the final two races of the evening: the men’s and women’s 3000-meter steeplechases.
Sophomore Parker Scott, who entered the weekend ranked No. 16 in the East at 8:55.63, ran a steady pace for much of the race in Heat One, but started to fall off the lead pack late, sitting in sixth with one lap to go. Scott didn’t go down without a fight, mustering a blistering 65-second final lap – the fastest final lap in the field that chased down three fellow competitors in the process to earn an auto-qualifier spot and punch his ticket to Eugene in stunning fashion.
Scott’s final time was an eight-second PR of 8:47.93 (fourth-best all-time at Ole Miss), which was almost exclusively helped by that awe-inspiring final lap. Scott was a fair distance off the lead pack, but as they lost steam down the stretch, a collapse at the final water jump helped Scott catch up even more ground as he galloped to the finish.
Senior Sean Tobin looked to make it two Rebel men in the steeple at the national meet, but he got caught in a tough, tactical third heat, finishing ninth in the heat at 8:59.81 to close the book on a spectacular Rebel career in which he helped usher in a new era of distance running at Ole Miss.
Senior Shelby Brown decided that Scott was having so much fun waiting until the last lap to make a move that she would try it as well in the first heat of the women’s steeple – and to similar effect. Brown looked smooth through the first few laps, hanging with the top pack. But as the herd started to thin, Brown found herself in similar territory to Scott.
Brown sat in fourth place at the bell lap and about 50 meters off the lead pack. From there, she kicked into another gear and clipped off a 76-second final lap (six-seconds faster than anyone in the field on the last 400), and she snagged third in the heat for an AQ spot – punching her return ticket to Eugene.
Brown ended up within one second of her school record of 9:58.98, finishing with the seventh-fastest time overall at 9:59.54 – just the second time a Rebel woman has ever run sub-10:00 in the steeple.
Freshman Lisa Vogelgesang, fresh off a silver medal performance in the steeplechase at the SEC Outdoor Championships, looked incredible throughout the third and final heat, putting herself in great position on the final lap. However, the drama Ole Miss was profiting from wound up being infectious, and Vogelgesang found herself in an absurd run to the finish – ending up fifth in the heat at 10:10.82 to conclude an excellent freshman campaign.
Vogelgesang, a native of Germany, leaves her freshman season already the second-best steepler in Ole Miss history at 10:06.00 from SECs two weeks ago – which ranks as the No. 14 junior time in the history of Germany, as well as the No. 2 German time in 2018.
Drama wasn’t reserved for the track, though, as Day Two began with some heartstring tugging in the men’s discus. Grad transfer Cullen Prena competed in the second flight, ending as the top thrower in the flight at 54.37m (178-04). But then, the waiting game began.
The third flight came up, and Prena saw his mark slowly fall down the leaderboard – which included being leapfrogged by teammate and eventual regional champion, Brian Williams, at 60.34m (197-11). But by the third flight’s end, Prena saw his name still within the top-12 at No. 10 – thus punching his ticket to the national meet at his undergraduate alma mater, Oregon.
This is a return trip to Eugene for Williams, who was a First-Team All-American in the discus in 2017 following a fourth-place finish. This is the second regional title of the weekend for Ole Miss following Janeah Stewart’s win in the shot put on Day One.
Not much earlier, redshirt junior Lindsey Murray booked her trip to Oregon in the women’s pole vault – her first trip to the outdoor national meet since her sophomore season in 2016 after missing last season due to injury. Murray was one of exactly 12 to clear 4.18m (13-08.50) to make the qualifying for the national meet easy on the officials. Murray was coming off a career-best third-place finish at the SEC Outdoor Championships at her new school-record 4.35m (14-03.25).
Katy McAuley put together a superb day of competition in the women’s pole vault as well, but came up just short in 17th place at a new PR height of 4.08m (13-04.50).
Ole Miss had a trio of women’s quarterfinalists on the track that put forth strong performances, but fell short of advancing to Eugene. Senior Jolie Carbo ran 52.80 to finish sixth in Heat One of the 400-meter dash quarterfinals, a time that would have ranked as a PR just one day earlier but was only good for 19th overall today in an astounding 400-meter field. Carbo ran 52.78 in the first round on Thursday.
Senior Shannon Ray took seventh in Heat Three of the women’s 100-meter dash quarterfinals, running 11.46 to finish 21st overall in a field that included the No. 2 wind-legal time in the world from LSU’s Aleia Hobbs (10.90). Both Ray and Carbo will feature on the Rebel women’s 4x100-meter relay on Saturday, which enters with the No. 8 seed time in the East at 44.10.
Also running on Friday was junior Maddie McHugh, who got caught in a tactical second heat of the women’s 800-meter quarterfinals, finishing seventh in the heat at 22nd overall at 2:10.14. McHugh ends her junior season with two bronze medals in the 800-meter at both the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Senior Janeah Stewart came up short of tripling at the national meet, finishing 37th overall in the discus at 46.73m (153-03) following a rain delay that lasted nearly three hours. Stewart is already qualified in the shot put, and she still has the hammer throw coming up on Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m. CT. – the first event of the final day of action for Ole Miss tomorrow.
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