OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss will compete alongside a collection of some of the world's top professional, college and high school athletes this weekend at the 2015 Armory Track Invitational in New York City.
One of the top indoor meets in the world, the two-day Armory Track Invitational marks the beginning of the 2015 USA Track & Field Indoor Championship Series, which is the professional "season" for the USATF.
The meet will be televised nationally by NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) on Saturday, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. CT. USATF.tv will carry live events from Friday and Saturday, as well.
Among the track & field superstars in attendance will be Mary Cain, Matthew Centrowitz, Will Claye, Galen Rupp, Erik Sowinski and Ole Miss' own former NCAA pole vault champion Sam Kendricks.
"This weekend gives us a chance to go and compete against high-level competition," head coach Brian O'Neal said. "As we begin to get ready for SEC Championships, it will give us a better barometer of where we are at this point in the season. There will be a lot of national caliber teams there in a lot of different events, and it gives our young men and young women the chance to be on that stage and compete against the best."
Athletes will be aiming for world records in several events, perhaps none more highly anticipated than the men's distance medley relay. DMR national teams from the USA, Kenya and Ireland will try for the record (9:25.97) alongside college teams from Ole Miss, Columbia, Duke and Princeton. It should be one of the fastest fields of DMR teams in history.
Ole Miss won an SEC title in the DMR last year and placed second to Wisconsin in the Armory Collegiate Invitational, with both Rebel squads posting times that ranked top three in school history.
"The DMR and 4x4 relays typically change from year to year, but most of our young men are back and have been inside the Armory before," O'Neal said. "We feel real good about the young men that we're taking there, and I'm truly excited about this competition and seeing what we can do."
O'Neal will send his top athletes to the Big Apple, as the Rebel men compete against such teams as nationally ranked No. 14 Villanova, No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 18 Akron, No. 24 Kent State and SEC schools Missouri and South Carolina. The Rebels' top women will rub spikes with No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 16 Maryland, No. 18 Akron, No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 25 Clemson and SEC schools Missouri and South Carolina. More than 40 college teams will compete, in all.
The Rebel men have athletes ranked top 30 nationally in 13 different events, led by sophomore Jalen Miller's No. 3 ranking in the 60 meters (6.56). In fact, Miller ranks fifth in the world this year, and all four of his 60-meter times (6.56, 6.57, 6.58, 6.60) are among the 16 best in the world so far in 2015.
The mile has been an especially strong distance for Ole Miss so far, as the Rebels have five runners in the top 17 in the NCAA, led by sophomore Robert Domanic (4:00.62) at No. 3, sophomore Craig Engels (4:01.29) at No. 5 and senior Daniel Bulmer (4:01.49) at No. 6.
Senior Phillip Young ranks 11th nationally in the triple jump (51-9) and 12th in the long jump (24-9).
For the Ole Miss women, freshman Brooke Feldmeier has burst onto the scene with the No. 1 time in the NCAA the first time she ever lined up in a collegiate 800-meter race (2:05.27).
The Rebels have two of the top 20 pentathletes in the country in senior Fabia McDonald (6th, 4,057) and freshman Brittany Kelly (20th, 3,689). McDonald broke her own school record in the event with a victory at the Vanderbilt Invitational last weekend.
A portion of the Ole Miss team will also compete this weekend at the A-State Invitational in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Here are the Ole Miss athletes that rank top 48 in the NCAA:
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