Indoor Track & Field Season Preview
Jalen Miller (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Jan. 8, 2015

OXFORD, Miss. - Coming off the best cross country performance in school history, the Ole Miss track and field team is primed and ready for the 2015 indoor season that starts this weekend at the Gene Edmonds Invite in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Rebel men return a strong core of athletes and welcome several newcomers for this highly anticipated campaign, the third under head coach Brian O'Neal.

Among the returners are 2014 Indoor All-American Jalen Miller (Tunica, Miss.) and Outdoor All-Americans Robert Semien (Houston, Texas) and Phillip Young (Key West, Fla.). Miller was one of the nation's top 60-meter runners as a freshman last year and competed at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships. Semien and Young both advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, in the 110-meter hurdles and triple jump, respectively.

"In the past, we've had guys like Ricky Robertson put up over 20 points at SEC Championships or Sam Kendricks that was the SEC Champion, NCAA Champion, USA Champion," O'Neal said. "From a leadership standpoint, those names have changed. Now we have a different cast of young men and young women that we look to step up for us week in and week out.

"We probably have the most balanced team since I've been here. We have good sprints, jumps, hurdles, middle distance, distance, throws and multi-events. I think we give ourselves a chance to score in a lot of different ways."

Three of the four members of last year's SEC champion distance medley relay squad are back, in Robert Domanic, Will Spiers and Sean Tobin. Last year's SEC Indoor Freshman Runner of the Year, Tobin also owns the school record in the indoor mile as the first Rebel to ever run it in less than four minutes.

Among the top newcomers expected to contribute are Adam Aguirre, Darryl Brown, Craig Engels, M.J. Erb, Wesley Gallagher, Branden Greene and Dempsey McGuigan.

The Ole Miss men placed seventh at last year's SEC indoor meet and tied for 24th at last year's NCAA indoor meet.

Tobin, Domanic and Gallagher, among others, helped the Rebels match their best SEC cross country finish in school history and win the NCAA South Region Championship en route to the program's first NCAA Championship berth as a team this fall.

On the women's side, fifth-year senior multi-athlete Fabia McDonald is back from injury to lead the Rebels. She is the all-time school record holder in the indoor pentathlon and was an Indoor All-American in 2012.

Other top returners include 2013 All-American Asia Cooper (sprints), Mary Alex England (distance), Taryn Hartfield (hurdles) and Kierra White (jumps). Several newcomers are expected to bolster the team right away, including sprinters Jhorden Hunter and Khadijah Suleman, multi-eventers Brooke Feldmeier and Brittany Kelly and middle distance runners Bo and Britt Ummels.

"The goals and expectations are really the same as they've been," O'Neal said. "Be better each week. Each time out, remember who you are and who you represent. Understand that when you compete for Ole Miss, you compete for a great university and a great state. And we want to do that with pride.

"This weekend is an opportunity for us to get started against great competition. Purdue University puts together a great meet. We expect to stick our nose in there and compete."

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissTrack and on Facebook at Ole Miss Track. And follow Coach O'Neal at @CoachBrianOneal.


 

 

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