OXFORD, Miss. – Junior Sam Kendricks and freshman Jalen Miller of the 25th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels will be among the world-class field of athletes participating at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The NCAA announced on Tuesday night the top 16 ranked men’s and women’s athletes and relays in each event category as qualifiers for the national meet, pending notification of medical scratches.
Kendricks, the No. 1 pole vaulter in the NCAA and U.S., is coming off an SEC title at last weekend’s conference meet in College Station, Texas. The Oxford, Miss., native will look to win his second straight national title after claiming the event at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Currently ranked 14th in the world, Kendricks owns a season-best and school-record clearance of 18-8.25 from the Don Kirby Elite Invitational (Feb. 14) at the same Albuquerque Convention Center at which he will compete for the national title. In six 2013-14 indoor meets, he has broken five meet records and two facility records and eclipsed 18 feet five times. He is undefeated in collegiate pole vault competitions since he won last year’s NCAA outdoor title.
Kendricks earned first team All-America honors after finishing third at last year’s NCAA indoor meet.
Miller, at only 18 years old from small-town Tunica, Miss., has burst onto the national stage just as quickly as he gets out of his sprinter’s starting blocks. He ranks 12th on the performance list for the 60 meter dash with a season-best 6.62 from the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York.
Miller captured third place in a tight SEC Championships final last weekend and is one of five SEC runners to qualify for the national meet in the 60. He is one of only three freshmen to make the 16-man field.
The Ole Miss men placed 23rd at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships behind scoring efforts from Kendricks in the pole vault and Ricky Robertson in the high jump. Their highest finish in school history was a ninth-place result in 1991. They finished 10th in 2001 and 11th in 2011 and have placed top 25 a total of nine of times throughout program history.
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