Robert Domanic Qualifies for NCAA Final in the Men's 1500-Meter
June 6, 2018

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EUGENE, Ore.
- Senior Robert Domanic put himself in position to score points for the Rebel men after punching his ticket to the national 1500-meter final at Day One of the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Wednesday.


Ole Miss set to the track on a beautiful sunny evening at Hayward Field, with the Rebel men running in two events on the first day of the national meet in the 1500-meter and 3000-meter steeplechase semifinals.


Domanic, the top American to run the 1500-meter this season at the ninth-fastest time in NCAA history (3:36.33), went toe-to-toe with collegiate record holder and defending NCAA Champion, Josh Kerr of New Mexico. Domanic took second overall at 3:47.61, less than two tenths of a second off Kerr's top semifinal time of 3:47.47.


Kerr ran his collegiate record (3:35.01) in the same heat as Domanic's top American time in the final heat of the Bryan Clay Invite on April 19, giving some weight to the title showdown in Friday's final.


"Anything can happen," Domanic said. "Of course Josh Kerr is the favorite, but I think there's about seven or eight guys that can come out and win this thing, so it's going to be a tough race."


This is the second career NCAA 1500-meter final for Domanic, who finished sixth overall in 2016 at 3:41.71 for First-Team All-American honors. Domanic owns several other All-American awards throughout his illustrious Ole Miss career, including an NCAA title in the distance medley relay indoors in 2017.


"The standard at Ole Miss is that you want to shoot for the highest that you can go," Domanic said. "Now, making a national championship meet is not good enough. The program has come a long way. Three or four years ago that would have been a victory in itself, but now we're trying to go win titles and try to go and make All-American spots."


Freshman Everett Smulders concluded an excellent first season with the Rebels, finishing 10th in his heat and 22nd overall in the 1500-meter at 3:51.59 for Honorable Mention All-American status. Smulders was the SEC bronze medalist in the mile indoors, and outdoors he scored in the 1500 and punched his ticket to the national meet following a career-best 3:44.06 at the NCAA East Regional two weeks ago.


Sophomore Parker Scott also saw a very strong year come to a close, finishing 17th overall and ninth in the second heat of the men's 3000-meter steeplechase semifinals. Scott ran 8:53.33 for Honorable Mention All-American honors, which fell less than two tenths off Second-Team status. Scott ran a thrilling race at the East Regional two weeks ago, chasing down three runners on the final lap to punch his ticket to the national meet at 8:47.93 - the fourth-best time in school history.


Women's competition begins on Thursday, with the Rebels getting started with Janeah Stewart in the women's hammer finals at 3:30 p.m. CT. Fans can watch the action live on the ESPN family of networks.


For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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