Ole Miss Ready for NCAA Indoor Championships
Lindsey Murray (photo by Tyler Wooten)
March 10, 2016

USTFCCCA National Championships Central | Live Results

Watch ESPN3 (Friday) | Watch ESPN3 (Saturday)

Ole Miss Meet Notes Get Acrobat Reader

OXFORD, Miss. – Seven athletes in four different events will compete for the Ole Miss Rebels at this weekend’s NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, held at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama, Friday and Saturday.

NCAA shot put leader Raven Saunders and pole vaulter Lindsey Murray will represent the Ole Miss women, while the Rebel men qualified Ryan Walling in the 5000 meters and a distance medley relay quartet of Robert Domanic, Ryan Manahan, Craig Engels and Sean Tobin.

This weekend will be the culmination of a fantastic first indoor season for new Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith. The men matched their best SEC indoor finish in school history with a third-place result in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in which they scored a program-record 80.5 total points. On the women’s side, Saunders became the all-time collegiate shot put record holder with a throw of 19.23m/63-1.25 at the Iowa State Classic, followed by her first SEC indoor title. Just a sophomore, she is the favorite to win this weekend’s shot put title after she claimed both the indoor and outdoor national titles last year as a freshman at Southern Illinois.

Walling is the first Ole Miss runner to compete at indoor nationals in the 5000 since Pablo Sierra in 1993. The Rebels are making their second appearance at nationals in the DMR. The first was in 1985.

Saunders it the first Rebel to compete at indoor nationals in the shot put, while Murray is the second female to participate in the pole vault, following Neal Tisher’s 2012 appearance.

All four of these events were among the 10 total school records broken by Price-Smith’s team this year.

The NCAA Indoor Championships will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app on Friday and Saturday. The meet will also air as part of a two-hour show on ESPN2 on Sunday at 6 p.m. CT. The broadcast talent includes Dwight Stones, Larry Rawson, Larra Overton and John Anderson.

Here is a schedule of when the Ole Miss athletes will compete in Birmingham:

Friday
8:05 p.m. – Ryan Walling in the men’s 5000m
8:45 p.m. – Men’s distance medley relay

Saturday
4:00 p.m. – Lindsey Murray in the women’s pole vault
5:00 p.m. – Raven Saunders in the women’s shot put

Head Coach Connie Price-Smith Says:

On heading into the NCAA Championships…
“I think the athletes that are going over will do well. Everybody’s excited about it and looking forward to the competition.”

On competing for the third time this season at the Birmingham CrossPlex…
“Going over to Birmingham will be good because our student-athletes have been there before and are familiar with the track, rings and runways. We’ve been there multiple times, so that familiarity will help with it being the national championships.”

On preparing to square off against the best of the best athletes and teams in the country…
“I’m just looking for everybody to go in and do what they did throughout the year to get there. I think our athletes will do really well in this environment.”

Ole Miss Notables:

  • Ole Miss is under the direction of first-year head coach Connie Price-Smith, who served the previous 14 years as the head coach of her alma mater, Southern Illinois.
  • Price-Smith, a four-time Olympian during her distinguished career as a professional thrower, will serve as head coach for the Team USA women at this summer’s Rio Olympics.
  • Two weeks ago in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Ole Miss men placed third at the SEC Indoor Championships, matching their best ever finish at the conference indoor meet ... The Rebels posted a program-record 80.5 points, including 75 from the distance events (800m, mile, 3000m, 5000m, DMR).
  • One of the stories of the 2016 indoor collegiate track & field season has been the sensational shot putting of sophomore Raven Saunders, who has improved upon her freshman year at SIU in which she won two NCAA titles ... This year, Saunders has broken the all-time women’s collegiate shot put record (19.23m/63-1.25) and currently ranks No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 2 in the world.
  • Saunders ranks No. 5 on the all-time U.S. indoor shot put list and No. 7 when combining indoor and outdoor.
  • Saunders, a Bowerman Award candidate, has the 12 best shot puts in the NCAA this season.
  • The 2016 USTFCCCA South Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year is a two-time USTFCCCA Women’s National Athlete of the Week and four-time SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week recipient this year.
  • Senior Ryan Walling ranks fifth nationally in the 5000m with a huge PR and school record of 13:39.44.
  • The men’s DMR placed fourth at the Penn State National, breaking a 31-year-old school record with their time of 9:30.48 ... Subbing Trevor Gilley for Sean Tobin in Fayetteville, they set an SEC meet record with a winning time of 9:37.14 to claim their third straight league title in the event.
  • Although Ryan Manahan ranks top 16 in the 800m, Ole Miss has opted for him to focus solely on the DMR.
  • Ole Miss distance coach Ryan Vanhoy is the 2016 USTFCCCA South Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
  • Sophomore Lindsey Murray is the first Ole Miss woman to ever clear 14 feet in the pole vault, indoor or outdoor.
  • The Rebel men have a high national ranking of 17th (Week 4), while the women have risen as high as 23rd (Week 3) this season.
  • A total of 10 indoor school records have fallen this season.

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


 

 

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