Ole Miss Surges into SEC Indoor Championships this Weekend
Sean Tobin and Craig Engels
Feb. 22, 2017

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OXFORD, Miss. – In a flash, the indoor track & field season has reached championship season.

The 13th-ranked Ole Miss women and No. 26 men will go toe-to-toe with 13 other Southeastern Conference schools at this weekend’s SEC Indoor Championships in Nashville, Tennessee.

The meet will take place Friday and Saturday at Vanderbilt’s Multipurpose Facility, beginning at 10 a.m. CT both days.

The SEC Indoor Championships will be streamed live on SEC Network+ Friday from 4:25-9:30 p.m. CT and Saturday from 1:55-6:45 p.m. CT. The meet will also air as part of a two-hour show on ESPN on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT. The broadcast talent includes Dwight Stones, Larry Rawson, Jill Montgomery and John Anderson.

The SEC is always known to have some of the nation’s top track & field talent, and this season is no different.

A nation-best eight SEC women’s teams are ranked in the top 25 of the latest USTFCCCA rankings, including seven of the top 11. Arkansas is No. 2, Georgia is No. 3, LSU is No. 4, Kentucky is No. 6, Alabama is No. 9, Texas A&M is No. 10, Florida is No. 11 and Ole Miss is No. 13. No other conference has more than six women’s teams ranked in the top 25.

A nation-leading seven SEC men’s teams are ranked, including four of the top five. Florida and Arkansas are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, Georgia is No. 4, Texas A&M is No. 5, LSU is No. 8, Alabama is No. 9 and Tennessee is No. 12. No other conference has more than five men’s teams ranked in the top 25.

SEC men’s and women’s track and field athletes lead the nation in 17 individual events entering this weekend’s championships, including Ole Miss’ Raven Saunders in the women’s shot put and the men’s distance medley relay squad of Ryan Manahan, Nick DeRay, Craig Engels and Sean Tobin.

Under second-year head coach Connie Price-Smith, the Rebel women have risen to their highest national ranking - indoor or outdoor - since being No. 7 in week one of the 2008 indoor season. At 26th, the men are knocking at the door to join them in the top 25.

Ole Miss placed third on the men’s side at last year’s SEC indoor meet, tied for the best finish in program history.

Among the many Rebels looking to score big points this weekend are returning SEC indoor champs Saunders (women’s shot put), Robert Domanic (men’s mile) and the men’s DMR. Last year, the men swept the distance races, and they pose a challenge to do so again as they bring in the league’s top-ranked runners in the mile (Tobin), 3000 meters (MJ Erb), 5000 meters (Erb) and DMR.

Head Coach Connie Price-Smith Says:

“Championship season is here. I’m looking for everybody to go out and compete to the best of their ability. We’ve had good preparation up to this point. We’ve had a lot of good marks, and I think if everybody goes out and lets it all hang out and do what they’ve been doing all season along, then we’ll fare well.

“The SEC meet is a pressure-packed competition. It’s like a national championship when you walk out there because everybody is at such a high level. But it feels really good to know that you can be competitive at that level.

“When you have freshmen and transfers going into this situation, you never know what’s going to happen. You have some that will go in and be nervous, and then some that are just excited. It inspires them and makes them perform better. You just hope that when the freshmen get in there, they see that they can compete at that level, and will be inspired by it and not afraid of it.”


  • 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, is in her second season at the Ole Miss helm.
  • Defending SEC indoor champ and NCAA outdoor champ Raven Saunders tops the NCAA in the women’s shot put with a world-leading 19.10m/62-8, the fifth-best mark in NCAA indoor history.
  • Saunders owns the NCAA’s best seven shot put marks of the season – 19.10m, 18.71, 18.61, 18.59, 18.47, 18.45, 18.43 ... In five meets, she is undefeated and has set four meet records and two facility records.
  • Saunders also ranks eighth in the country in the weight throw (PR 21.67m/71-1.25).
  • Junior Janeah Stewart has set PRs in both the weight throw and shot put this season after a JUCO career that saw her win four individual national titles and nine All-America nods ... She ranks third nationally in the weight throw (school-record 21.86m/71-8.75) and 10th in the shot put (17.16m/56-3.75).
  • At last week’s UCS Invitational, the Rebels’ DMR squad of Ryan Manahan, Nick DeRay, Craig Engels and Sean Tobin clocked a 9:34.24, which converted to a 9:26.55 makes Ole Miss the No. 1 NCAA seed in the event.
  • Ole Miss is the three-time defending SEC champion in the men’s DMR and placed third at last year’s NCAA meet.
  • Senior MJ Erb is the SEC leader in both the men’s 3000m (7:54.77) and 5000m (13:43.55), ranking top 14 nationally in both.
  • Junior Sean Tobin is the SEC leader in the men’s mile (4:00.09).
  • Junior Robert Domanic is the defending SEC champ in the indoor mile.
  • Ole Miss boasts three of the top four men’s milers in the SEC this season (Tobin, Trevor Gilley, Domanic).
  • Ole Miss became the second program in league history to sweep the men’s distance races at the SEC indoor meet last year ... Only Arkansas had accomplished that feat before.
  • An Ole Miss school record has fallen six times this season - twice by Janeah Stewart in the women’s weight throw and once each by Anna Braswell in the women’s 5000m, Shelby Brown in the women’s mile and 3000m, and Brian Williams in the men’s shot put.

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






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