BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Ole Miss junior Sam Kendricks and freshman Sean Tobin were honored as two of the top indoor track & field athletes in the country's premier conference on Friday.
The Southeastern Conference coaches voted Kendricks as the SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Year and Tobin as the SEC Men's Co-Freshman Runner of the Year after their spectacular performances at the league's indoor meet this past weekend in College Station, Texas.
"It's always good to see hard work be rewarded," said Ole Miss head coach Brian O'Neal. "I am proud of both Sam and Sean. They're two guys that work extremely hard at their craft. And they are two young men that love competing for Ole Miss and wearing the Red and Blue."
Kendricks won his first SEC pole vault title last week to go along with his multitude of previous accolades. He is the current No. 1 ranked pole vaulter in the NCAA and U.S. and 14th in the world. The Oxford, Miss., native 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 next week. 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.
Sean Tobin (photo by John Nepolitan/armorytrack.com)
The last Rebel to be named an SEC Athlete of the Year was Isiah Young, who was tabbed SEC Outdoor Runner of the Year last year. Ricky Robertson was the Rebels' last SEC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year in 2012.
Tobin shared SEC Men's Freshman Runner of the Year honors with Arkansas hurdler Omar McLeod after anchoring Ole Miss to an SEC title in the distance medley relay and finishing runner-up in the mile at the conference meet. The Clonmel, Ireland native ran an incredible last leg to capture the first DMR title in school history. The squad's time of 9:39.54 (second-best in school history) nearly broke the SEC meet record of 9:39.06. A couple of weeks earlier, Tobin became the first sub-4 minute indoor miler in school history when he ran 3:59.91 at the Husky Classic in Seattle. He finishes his indoor season ranked second overall in the SEC in the mile, first among league freshmen and fourth among all NCAA freshmen.
The last Ole Miss athlete to claim SEC Freshman of the Year honors was Fabia McDonald (Women's Indoor Freshman Field Athlete of the Year in 2011).
The league also announced its indoor All-SEC honors on Friday. The four members of Ole Miss' distance medley relay squad (Robert Domanic, Montez Griffin, Will Spiers and Tobin) earned first-team status, while Miller made the second team by placing top three in the 60 meter dash. Miller and Tobin both made the SEC All-Freshman Team by finishing first among freshmen in their individual events.
2014 SEC Indoor Track & Field Awards Men's Runner of the Year: Arman Hall, Florida Men's Field Athlete of the Year: Sam Kendricks, Ole Miss Men's Co-Freshman Runners of the Year: Omar McLeod, Arkansas andSean Tobin, Ole Miss Men's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Jeremiah Green, Alabama Men's Coach of the Year: Chris Bucknam
Women's Co-Runners of the Year: Kamaria Brown, Texas A&M and Cory McGee, Florida Women's Field Athlete of the Year: Erica Bougard, Mississippi State Women's Freshman Runner of the Year: Rebekah Greene, Florida Women's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Kendell Williams, Georgia Women's Coach of the Year: Mike Holloway, Florida
Men's First-Team All-SEC Aldrich Bailey, Jr., Texas A&M Diondre Batson, Alabama Robert Domanic, Ole Miss Jeremiah Green, Alabama Montez Griffin, Ole Miss Solomon Haile, Arkansas Arman Hall, Florida Shavez Hart, Texas A&M Raymond Higgs, Arkansas Matt Hillenbrand, Kentucky Sam Kendricks, Ole Miss Deon Lendore, Texas A&M Eddie Lovett, Florida Anthony May, Arkansas Keffri Neal, Kentucky Charodd Richardson, Alabama Carlyle Roudette, Texas A&M Will Spiers, Ole Miss Bradley Szypka, Kentucky Sean Tobin, Ole Miss Maicel Uibo, Georgia
Men's Second-Team All-SEC Matt Airola, Alabama Andres Arroyo, Florida Cameron Brown, Tennessee Darrell Bush, LSU Greg Coleman, Texas A&M Wayne Davis II, Texas A&M Quincy Downing, LSU Dedric Dukes, Florida Kyle Felpel, Alabama Kamal Fuller, Alabama Najee Glass, Florida Gabe Gonzalez, Arkansas Hugh Graham, Jr., Florida Cyril Grayson, LSU Charles Grethen, Georgia Elias Hakansson, Alabama Devion Harris, Texas A&M Hector Hernandez, Texas A&M Jonathon Ilori, Missouri Andrew Irwin, Arkansas Adam Kahleifeh, Kentucky Jarrion Lawson, Arkansas Ken LeGassey, Arkansas Ty McCormack, Auburn Omar McLeod, Arkansas Jalen Miller, Ole Miss Vernon Norwood, LSU Sean Obinwa, Florida Ryan Schnulle, Florida Parker Shearer, Auburn Ibn Short, Kentucky Issac Spencer, Texas A&M Nick Uruburu, Florida Cameron Villarreal, Texas A&M Chase Wolfle, Texas A&M Stipe Zunic, Florida
Men's SEC All-Freshman Team 60m: Jalen Miller, Ole Miss 60mH: Omar McLeod, Arkansas 200m: Teray Smith, Auburn 400m: Nick Uruburu, Florida 800m: Andres Arroyo, Florida Mile: Sean Tobin, Ole Miss 3,000m: Tyler Schneider, Missouri 5,000m: Dan Roe, Missouri High Jump: Ken LeGassey, Alabama Pole Vault: Charles Moushey, Kentucky Long Jump: Trae Carey, Arkansas Triple Jump: Jeremiah Green, Alabama Shot Put: Kyle Felpel, Alabama Weight Throw: Alex Poursandidis, Georgia Heptathlon: Ibn Short, Kentucky
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