OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss will send several of its athletes to Birmingham this weekend to participate in Saturday's Alabama High Tide Qualifier, an NCAA last chance meet hosted by the University of Alabama at the CrossPlex Indoor Track and Field Facility. It was also send a couple of relay teams to Friday's Arkansas Last Chance Meet in Fayetteville.
These Rebel athletes will be attempting to meet one of two ways to qualify for the upcoming NCAA Championships, which will be held March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho. Athletes can achieve an automatic qualifying mark in their event or they can be ranked in the top 14 nationally in their event. After the top 14 are picked from their event, the NCAA selection committee generally chooses one to three more per event to fill out the championships field.
Junior All-American Ricky Robertson, who captured his third straight SEC indoor high jump title this past weekend, has automatically qualified in the event (7-04.50) and will not travel to the last chance meet. He currently ranks fifth-best in the country in the high jump, as well as 13th in the triple jump.
Fellow Rebels who will not be competing this weekend based on their high national rankings include junior All-American Mike Granger, senior All-American Caleb Lee and senior Isiah Young. Granger, who finished runner-up in the 60 meters during this past weekend's SEC Indoor Championships, currently ranks 10th nationally in the event (6.63). Lee boasts a national ranking of 13 in the long jump (25-03.25), while Young ranks eighth nationally in the 60 meters (6.62).
The Rebel men, ranked No. 21 nationally, will send sophomore Creighton Serrette and the freshman pole vaulting duo of Sam Kendricks and Stephen Greer to Birmingham. Serrette will be competing in the 400 meters (48.65), while Kendricks and Greer will participate in the pole vault. Kendricks had a very productive regular season and currently ranks 48th nationally in the event (17-00.75). Greer's season-best height was 15-07.25, which occurred at the Tyson Invitational.
For the Rebel women, juniors Allegra Wells and Deonna Walton will be vying to earn NCAA bids in the long jump. Wells, who is also a standout performer for the Rebel volleyball team, ranks 41st nationally in the long jump after jumping a distance of 19-11.50 at last weekend's SEC Indoor Championships. Walton, meanwhile, boasts a national ranking of 58 in the event (19-09.50).
Joining the Rebel long jump duo will be senior Aria Gaines and juniors Neal Tisher and Jazmin Miller. Gaines enters the weekend ranked 33rd nationally in the triple jump. Her best jump of the season was at the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener when she jumped a distance of 41-07.00.
Tisher ranks 13th nationally in the pole vault after setting a school record in the event at last weekend's SEC Indoor Championships with a height of 13-10.50.
Miller ranks 36th nationally in the weight throw and placed fourth at the conference championships. Her best throw this season was a 64-4, which took place at the Kentucky Rod McCravy Memorial Meet back in January.
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