Rebels Carry Early-Season Momentum to Kentucky
Jan. 19, 2017

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OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss track & field teams look to carry momentum from a sensational debut weekend to the upcoming Rod McCravy Memorial, hosted by the University of Kentucky this Friday and Saturday.

The No. 21 Ole Miss women boast NCAA leaders in the shot put (Raven Saunders – 19.10m/62-8) and weight throw (Janeah Stewart – 21.83m/71-7.5) after their opening-weekend performances at the Commodore Invitational in Nashville, Tennessee. A number of freshmen stood out in their college debuts to boost the Rebels’ confidence against some stiff competition this weekend.

Women’s teams in Lexington, Kentucky, this weekend will include No. 4 USC, No. 5 Texas, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 10 Purdue, No. 13 Baylor, No. 14 Miami, No. 21 Ole Miss, Clemson, Harvard, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Penn State and UCF.

Men’s teams in action will include No. 6 USC, No. 7 Texas, No. 20 Penn State, Baylor, Clemson, Harvard, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Ole Miss, Purdue and UCF.

Ole Miss will send to the start line some of its top distance runners for the first time this indoor season. It will be their first competition in the Red and Blue since the men earned fourth place and the women were 23rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.

On Friday, the women’s pentathlon starts at 9:30 a.m. CT, with field events getting underway at 12:30 p.m. and running events at 5:10 p.m. Saturday’s slate will kick off with men’s heptathlon at 9 a.m., field events at 10 a.m. and running events at 11 a.m.

The meet will be broadcast on SEC Network+ on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. CT. The live broadcast will feature highlights of some of the top events from Friday as well.

Head Coach Connie Price-Smith Says:

“This weekend should show us a lot. We have a larger number of student-athletes competing in a variety of events, so we are looking for some good marks to come out of this meet. It is going to be a very competitive meet, and they have all been working very hard to get ready for it.

“We had a good showing last weekend, and I am looking for it to be even better this weekend. Our goal is to keep improving week by week.”


  • Head coach Connie Price-Smith, who served as Team USA women’s head coach in Rio and was elected to the USATF Hall of Fame in 2016, enters her second season at the Ole Miss helm.
  • The Rebel women are 21st in the preseason USTFCCCA rankings, while the men are just outside the top 25 in 36th.
  • In their Ole Miss debuts last weekend, top-level JUCO transfers Janeah Stewart and Brian Williams established school records in the women’s weight throw (21.83m/71-7.5) and men’s shot put (18.83m/61-9.5), respectively.
  • After one 2017 competition, Raven Saunders leads the NCAA in the women’s shot put (19.10m/62-8 – 5th-best mark in NCAA indoor history), and Stewart tops the nation in the weight throw.
  • Returning All-Americans expected to make their season debut this weekend include Robert Domanic, Derek Gutierrez, Ryan Manahan and Sean Tobin.
  • In 2016, the Rebels tied a school record with six indoor All-Americans and then shattered a school record with 13 outdoor All-Americans. 
  • The men had their best SEC indoor showing in program history (third place with a school-record 80.5 team points) and tied for their second-best SEC outdoor performance (fifth place). 
  • The Rebels are coming off a breakthrough 2016 cross country season, with the men finishing fourth nationally and the women 23rd, both program bests.
  • The Ole Miss women tied for 22nd at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships.
  • The men are coming off one of the best track seasons in school history after finishing third at the 2016 SEC Indoor Championships (tied for best in program history) and fifth at the SEC outdoor meet (tied for second-best in program history), while they placed just outside the top 25 nationally indoors (T-27th) and outdoors (T-26th).
  • Saunders had a sophomore season for the ages as she broke both the indoor and outdoor collegiate shot put records, won the NCAA outdoor shot put title, indoor and outdoor SEC shot put crowns, and was one of three female finalists for the Bowerman Award. 
  • Saunders qualified for Team USA at the Olympic Trials and surged all the way to a fifth-place showing in the shot put at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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






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