OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss sends two of the nation's top track & field athletes to Albuquerque, N.M., for this Friday and Saturday's NCAA Indoor Championships, held at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Junior pole vaulter Sam Kendricks and freshman sprinter Jalen Miller will represent the Rebels and seek to claim national titles in the men's pole vault and 60 meter dash, respectively.
Miller will start things off for Ole Miss in the 60 meter semifinals at 8:25 p.m. CT on Friday. Racing out of lane 1 in heat 1, Miller will try to be among the top eight that advance to Saturday's championship final (8 p.m. CT). The Tunica, Miss., native is one of five freshmen in the field of 16 that includes such superstars as Florida State's Dentarius Locke (2013 NCAA 100m runner-up), Alabama's Diondre Batson (2014 SEC 60m champion) and Houston's freshman sensation Cameron Burrell.
Kendricks will try to claim a second straight national title when the pole vault competition begins Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT. The reigning NCAA outdoor champion will jump 15th out of the 16 vaulters in Albuquerque. Among his competitors are two-time defending NCAA indoor champ Andrew Irwin of Arkansas and Canadian record holder Shawn Barber of Akron.
The meet will be streamed live on ESPN3.com and will be shown on tape-delay Saturday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
"It's the national championships," said head coach Brian O'Neal. "It's a big meet, but we won't do anything differently than we have all year. We will simplify things and just have the same mindset and the same competitive spirit that both Sam and Jalen have displayed all year long. And we expect the same results."
Kendricks, the No. 1 pole vaulter in the NCAA and U.S., captured the conference title in College Station, Texas and was named SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Year. 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 facility at which he'll compete on Saturday. 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.
"Sam's process is just to go out there and compete, whether it's at a local meet or an NCAA championship," O'Neal said. "He always wants to be the best he can be. That's our process week-in and week-out. You come out here and do what you've been doing."
Miller, at only 18 years old from the small town of Tunica, 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 60 meter final in College Station behind Batson and Florida's Hugh Graham.
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.
It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:- A slow start (17-0... read more
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more
It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more
No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited. But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more
Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more
Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more
With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more
A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more