School-Record 10 Ole Miss Entries Qualify for NCAA Indoor Championships
March 1, 2017
The NCAA announced the top 16 accepted men's and women's athletes in each individual event and top 12 accepted entries in each relay event as qualifiers for the national meet. The championships will be held Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium in College Station, Texas.
The 10 Ole Miss entries – five for the No. 9 nationally ranked women and five for the 26th-ranked men – breaks the previous school record of seven from 2012.
The women tied for their most entries ever with the 2008 squad, while the men matched their most entries ever with the 1985 and 2012 teams.
World-leading shot putter Raven Saunders will headline the Rebels’ contingent. She has won three of four collegiate titles in the shot put during her college career so far, and she currently boasts the world’s top two shot puts in 2017 with marks of 19.10m/62-8 (Commodore Invitational) and 19.07m/62-6.75 (SEC Championships – meet record). She remains the indoor collegiate record holder with her heave of 19.23m/63-1.25 at last year’s Iowa State Classic. The junior will also compete in the weight throw, in which she ranks eighth nationally.
Newcomer Janeah Stewart is the NCAA leader in the weight throw with a huge personal best and SEC meet record heave of 23.18m/76-0.75 last week. She has amazingly improved her best weight throw by 11 feet since joining the Rebels from junior college. She will also compete in the shot put, in which she ranks eighth nationally.
Rounding out the women’s group is Lindsey Murray, who will make her third straight NCAA indoor appearance in the pole vault. She ranks 16th nationally.
The Ole Miss men will send a record number of athletes to the NCAA indoor meet, which could be as many as seven depending on who suits up for the distance medley relay squad.
Ole Miss is the NCAA leader in the DMR with its flat-track converted time of 9:26.55 from the UCS Invitational that was set by the quartet of Ryan Manahan, Nick DeRay, Craig Engels and Sean Tobin. The Rebels also won their fourth straight SEC title in the event last week by setting a meet record of 9:32.36 with Engels, DeRay, Tobin and Robert Domanic.
Last year, the Rebels finished third in the DMR at the NCAA meet with a group consisting of Domanic, Derek Gutierrez, Engels and Tobin.
Senior MJ Erb will make his NCAA indoor debut in the 5000 meters, in which he is the No. 7 seed nationally. He is no stranger to NCAA meets, though, as the three-time All-American placed sixth individually at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships, eighth in the steeplechase at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships and 37th individually at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships (while running for Syracuse).
Seniors Engels and Manahan will toe the line in the 800 meters, coming in as the No. 15 and No. 16 seeds, respectively.
Junior college transfer Brian Williams threw his way into the NCAA field during his silver medal shot put performance at the SEC Championships in which he broke his own school record with a toss of 19.06m/62-6.5.
Ole Miss Women’s NCAA Indoor Entries
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