EUGENE, Ore. - With stellar performances from Sam Kendricks and Isiah Young, the Ole Miss men's track & field team placed eighth at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships for its best finish in school history.
Kendricks, a sophomore from Oxford, Miss., opened the meet at historic Hayward Field in Track Town USA by winning the Rebels' first ever national title in the pole vault on Wednesday. Young, a senior from Junction City, Kan., capped the championships on Saturday by finishing runner-up in the 200 meters.
All total, Ole Miss racked up 24 points to finish eighth in the team standings, the highest in school history for an indoor or outdoor NCAA meet. The previous program record was ninth place at the 1991 indoor meet. The previous best outdoor finish was 12th in 2007.
"It's a proud day for our track and field program," said first-year head coach Brian O'Neal. "I'm proud of every one of our athletes. I thought every one of them stepped to the line and competed with everything they had. We had some successes and some failures, but at the end of the day what we wanted to do was compete. I thought that's what our team did this weekend, and we came away with our best place in school history."
Ole Miss was one of six Southeastern Conference men's teams to place in the top 11. Florida and Texas A&M shared the men's NCAA team title. Arkansas was third, LSU seventh and Alabama 11th.
On Wednesday, Kendricks won his NCAA pole vault title with a clearance of 18-8.25. His title is the 13th individual national championship in program history, while he became the eighth Rebel to win at least one NCAA title. He scored 10 team points with the victory.
Friday saw Young claim the first of his two top-three finishes in the short sprints. He placed third in the 100 meters with a blazing time of 9.96, which lowered his own school record of 9.99 set at the NCAA East Preliminary two weeks ago. His third-place NCAA result is the best in school history in the 100 meters, and he earned six points for the Rebels.
Young was at it again on Saturday, nearly pulling off the Rebels' second national title of the meet, but settling for runner-up in the 200 meters with another fast time of 20.17. His second-place result was again the best in school history at that distance, beating his own previous best of fourth at last year's championships. He added eight more team points to bring the team total to 24, the most by Ole Miss ever at any NCAA Championships.
"Isiah's leadership and maturity level has been incredible," O'Neal said. "He runs a 9.96 and then backs it up with 20.17 in the 200. Those are great numbers, and typically in any other year those are good enough to win. This time that wasn't the case, but it wasn't for lack of effort. He's a star and has been a great ambassador for Ole Miss and our track and field program for the last couple of years. We'll miss him."
Morris Kersh also competed for the Rebel men, placing 24th in the triple jump with a mark of 49-9. The senior from Pearl, Miss., caps his career as a two-time NCAA Championships participant.
On the women's side, Mary Ashton Nall finished the heptathlon with a huge personal best of 5,562 points and placed 14th. The junior from Auburn, Ala., remains third in school history with that score, which is just one point shy of her teammate Fabia McDonald's 5,563 for second-best in the Ole Miss record books.
That concludes the 2012-13 season for Ole Miss, but several Rebels will compete at the upcoming U.S. Championships in hopes of qualifying for this summer's World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Keep up with these athletes' progress at OleMissSports.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With an opportunity to perhaps lock itself into the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least enhance its resume, Ole Miss lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling on the road at LSU... read more
Despite the most recent home loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, Ole Miss remains a team projected to be solidly in the field, as the Rebels put their school record four-game SEC road winning streak on the line when they... read more
Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more
If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more
The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with a 71-65 win at Mississippi State and a 59-57 victory over Tennessee. The Rebels improved to 10-4 in the... read more
Despite winter weather that affected many teams, it was a busy week for Ole Miss athletics. The men's basketball completed a 2-0 week and has positioned itself well entering the last two weeks of the regular season. The baseball, women's... read more
After missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to recovery from a torn labrum, sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been brilliant in his first two outings back in 2015, fanning 19 batters through 12.0... read more
For the second time in as many weeks, Ole Miss embarks on a Thursday-Saturday swing, returning home to host Tennessee on Saturday after a 71-65 win on Thursday at Mississippi State. During the previous week, Ole Miss was on the... read more
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The game hung in the balance. Mississippi State had just regained a 54-52 lead with 6:25 left, taking advantage of a 6-0 run. Head coach Andy Kennedy challenged his team, and junior guard Stefan Moody answered the... read more
Ole Miss and Cal will play a home-and-home football series in 2017 and 2019, the schools and ESPN announced Thursday. It marks the Rebels' first matchup with a Pac-12 school in football and will be only the program's second visit... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 10-16, 2015Men's Basketball- Ole Miss saw its six-game winning streak snapped with a one-point loss to No. 23 Arkansas Saturday night. Junior guard Stefan Moody and senior forward M.J. Rhett each scored 16 points... read more