History-Making 2017 Indoor Season for Ole Miss Track & Field
Raven Saunders broke her own collegiate record in the indoor shot put. (photo by Cheryl Treworgy)
March 21, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – When the final foot crossed the finish line to close out the 2017 Ole Miss indoor track & field season, the question could finally be asked.

Is this the best indoor season in school history?

Based upon the facts, there is a good argument to be made.

  • Women tied for 12th at NCAA Championships, best in school history
  • Women placed fifth at SEC Championships, best in school history
  • Men tied for 16th at NCAA Championships, best since 2011
  • Men tied for third at SEC Championships, tied for best in school history
  • Two NCAA indoor titles, most in school history
  • Five SEC indoor titles, tied for most in school history
  • 13 All-America selections, most in school history
  • 19 SEC medalists, most in school history

Under second-year head coach Connie Price-Smith, Ole Miss is soaring.

Raven Saunders was voted USTFCCCA Women’s Indoor Co-National Field Athlete of the Year after smashing her own collegiate record and winning the NCAA shot put title with a throw of 19.56m/64-2.25. The junior from Charleston, South Carolina, is the only woman in NCAA history with more than two shot puts of 19 meters, and she’s now reached that mark six times. Her personal-best heave ranks her No. 1 in the world in 2017 and No. 4 in U.S. indoor history. She also earned first team All-America honors in the weight throw with a seventh-place finish and set the SEC meet record in the shot put.

Junior Janeah Stewart broke the conference meet record and school record in the weight throw (23.18m/76-0.75) to become an SEC champion in her first season in the Red and Blue. Her huge throw ranks her No. 6 in NCAA history in the event. The Calumet City, Illinois, native was SEC runner-up in the shot put and an All-American in both events.

After years of perfecting their craft, the men’s distance medley relay reached the pinnacle of the sport with an NCAA title. The quartet of Craig Engels, Nick DeRay, Sean Tobin and Robert Domanic became the first Ole Miss relay of any kind to win a national title a couple of weeks after claiming the school’s fourth straight SEC DMR title with a meet-record time of 9:32.36. Their winning time at NCAAs was 9:31.32.

MJ Erb continued his sensational 2016-17 campaign by earning first team All-America honors in the 5000 meters (7th, 13:51.73). A senior from Farmington, New York, he won gold in the SEC 5000 meters and was silver medalist in the 3000 meters for good measure.

In addition to his DMR win at the SEC meet, Irish native Tobin was also league champion in the mile, marking the third straight year a Rebel has won that crown (Daniel Bulmer in 2015, Domanic in 2016).

Other indoor All-Americans were Engels (men’s 800m), Ryan Manahan (men’s 800m), Lindsey Murray (women’s pole vault) and Brian Williams (men’s shot put).

Ole Miss athletes broke school records in seven indoor events in 2017:

After historic cross country and indoor track campaigns, the outdoor season holds much promise as the Rebels begin this weekend by hosting the Joe Walker Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

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

 

 

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