OXFORD, Miss. – Members of the 16th-ranked Ole Miss men’s track & field team and the Ole Miss women’s squad are moving up the national rankings as the SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships quickly approach.
The Rebel men moved up one spot to No. 16 in this week’s USTFCCCA poll after a good showing in New Mexico last weekend, which was Ole Miss’ final meet before the Feb. 22-24 SEC Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
Foremost among the Rebel all-stars this season have been senior Ricky Robertson and sophomore Sam Kendricks, who rank among the top five NCAA athletes in the high jump and pole vault, respectively.
In fact, Robertson is the only person in the nation ranked top 20 in the high jump, triple jump and long jump. He currently stands second in the high jump (7-6), sixth in the triple jump (52-8.25) and 19th in the long jump (24-7.25).
Freshman Asia Cooper has been a force in the women’s sprints and had a truly breakout performance in Albuquerque. The Jackson, Miss., native finished runner-up at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational 60 meters with a personal-best time of 7.29 (converted to 7.31 for altitude) and moved up to No. 8 overall in the NCAA rankings, first among freshmen. She now ranks third in school history in that event.
In the 2013 world rankings, Robertson is 11th in the men’s high jump, Cooper is 27th in the women’s 60 meters and Kendricks is 35th in the men's pole vault.
Last year, the men placed sixth at the SEC Championships in Lexington, Ky., while the women were eighth. Robertson tied for the most points by any athlete at the conference meet and earned the Cliff Harper Trophy.
Already regarded as the nation’s elite track & field conference, the SEC Championships will be even tougher this year with the addition of track superpower Texas A&M, as well as Missouri.
This year’s NCAA Championships will also be held in Fayetteville, March 8-9. New this year is that there are no automatic qualifying standards for the NCAA meet. The NCAA will accept the top 16 athletes in each individual event and the top 12 schools in each relay for the championships.
Here is a complete listing of Rebels currently ranked among the top 50 in their events:
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