DES MOINES, Iowa - Ole Miss junior Isiah Young, the 200-meter SEC champion, raced to a fourth-place finish in the event on the last day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on Saturday.
Young's result gave his team five points, as the Rebel men finished the meet with a total of 7.5 points. Ricky Robertson scored 2.5 points earlier in the meet with a tie for sixth place in the high jump.
"It's just been a phenomenal meet," said head coach Joe Walker, who oversaw his final NCAA Championships with Ole Miss after 30 years at the helm. "On one hand, our kids competed really well. But we're disappointed we didn't finish higher. When you get the best of the best together, any little glitch hurts you badly. I thought that we had a really great season, and I'm disappointed we weren't able to put the exclamation point on it."
In the 200 meter final on Saturday, the runners fought against a huge headwind of -4.2, with Florida State's Maurice Mitchell crossing the line first in 20.40 seconds. Young was the top SEC finisher, beating out LSU's Aaron Ernest and Auburn duo Keenan Brock and Harry Adams.
It was Young's highest NCAA finish of his career and the best finish ever by a Rebel in the 200 meters.
Other Ole Miss results in Des Moines were Young in the 100 meters (9th place, 10.09), Sam Kendricks in the men's pole vault (T-10th place, 17-4.5), Robertson in the triple jump (18th place, 50-7.5), Carson Blanks in the men's 400-meter hurdles (19th place, 51.87), Fabia McDonald in the women's heptathlon (20th place, 5,136 points) and Kristin Bridges in the women's 400 meters (24th place, 53.51).
Several of the athletes will be recognized as USTFCCCA All-Americans. That announcement is expected on Monday.
A pair of SEC teams claimed NCAA titles, with the Florida men and LSU women taking home the overall crowns. The Ole Miss men came in 38th place, while the Rebel women did not score.
The 2012 season is over for Ole Miss as a team, but a few individuals will compete at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials (June 21-July 1) with a chance to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Possible entries for the Rebels include Robertson, Young, Blanks, Kendricks and Mike Granger.
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