March 21, 2018
LOS ANGELES - Ole Miss track & field heads out to the West Coast to open the outdoor season in the sunshine at the first-ever Trailblazer Invite, hosted this year in Los Angeles at USC.
The Trailblazer Invite will feature the five high-major (Power-5) programs that have both the men's and women's track & field teams coached by women: Miami (Amy Deem), Ohio State (Karen Dennis), Tennessee (Beth Alford-Sulivan), USC (Caryl Smith Gilbert), and Ole Miss' own Connie Price-Smith.
Scoring for the meet will be slightly different from the standard 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 for individual finishers in events, with the structure 10-8-6-4-2-1 in individual events and 10-8-6-4-2 for the relay events.
Competition will begin at 2 p.m. CT on Friday afternoon with the women's hammer throw, which, alongside the discus, will be held at Long Beach State on Friday afternoon.
Ole Miss is coming off an indoor season that ended with one First-Team All-American (Janeah Stewart, weight throw, third place) and seven Second-Team honorees. Price-Smith's squad also came away with two SEC individual titles (women's weight throw, men's mile).
Both the Rebel women and men sit within the upper portion of the NCAA after the outdoor preseason computer rankings were released by the USTFCCCA on Tuesday, with the women ranking at No. 22 and the men just outside at No. 33.
The Rebel women have ranked in the top-25 for 11 straight outdoor rankings releases dating back to Connie Price-Smith's first season at Ole Miss in 2016. In her three seasons, the Rebel women have been ranked in 14 of the 21 outdoor rankings releases.
No. 22 is the highest preseason national ranking outdoors for the Rebel women since the USTFCCCA began the national rankings in 2008. Ole Miss opened the indoor season ranked No. 8 nationally. The Rebel women also rank No. 15 in the USTFCCCA Program of the Year standings following the indoor season.
Ole Miss returns two All-Americans from the outdoor season in 2017 in Janeah Stewart (shot put, First-Team; discus and hammer, Second-Team) and Brian Williams (discus).
Ole Miss finished the 2017 season ranked within the top-10 in both the men's and women's USTFCCCA Program of the Year standings, with both Rebel squads finishing a program-high in the rankings. Ole Miss was one of three programs nationally to have both its men's and women's programs finish in the top-10 with the men in third and the women in eighth.
Janeah Stewart, one of just two women in the NCAA in 2017 to triple at the national meet, enters the 2018 season ranked within the top-15 in the shot put (second, 17.86m/58-07.25), hammer (seventh, 64.69m/212-03) and discus (15th, 56.39m/185-00). In total, she accounts for 57 of the 76.78 points Ole Miss received in the USTFCCCA preseason computer rankings.
Stewart enters 2018 ranked either as the school-record holder or the runner-up in all three of her throwing events, holding the record in the hammer and ranking second in both the shot put and discus.
Outdoors in 2017, Stewart finished First-Team All-American in the shot put (fifth place), and Second-Team in both the discus (ninth) and hammer (10th).
Stewart finished the indoor season as the No. 5 weight thrower in the history of the NCAA at 24.12m (79-01.75). Three of the top-10 weight throwers are pupils of Connie Price-Smith and throws coach John Smith.
Redshirt junior pole vaulter Lindsey Murray returns for her second outdoor season as a Rebel after missing the 2017 outdoor season due to injury. Murray, who concluded her Rebel indoor career with an appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this month (where she was the lone senior in competition to have qualified all four years), enters 2018 with the 10th-best PR nationally at her school-record height of 4.34m (14-02.75) from 2016.
Senior and NCAA steeplechase qualifier Shelby Brown returns to the track after sitting out the 2018 indoor season. Brown qualified for the outdoor national meet last year after running a school-record 10:06.67 at the NCAA East Regional, which enters 2018 as the 21st-best in the nation.
Brown is also contributing with a 4:19.09 mark in the 1500-meter, which enters the year No. 39 nationally.
Other Rebel women contributing to the No. 22 national ranking include: indoor All-SEC runner and junior Maddie McHugh (27th, 800-meter, 2:05.23) and senior sprinter Shannon Ray (31st, 100-meter dash, 11.32).
Ole Miss is within just 10 points of the top-25 on the men's side, where the Rebels lived for all of the 2017 outdoor season. A total of 10 Rebel marks are helping contribute to that No. 33 men's ranking at 62.43 points, but none more so than senior All-American thrower Brian Williams.
Williams' monster discus PR of 65.13m (213-08) is contributing 36.28 of those 62.43 points for the Rebel men in the preseason rankings. That mark by Williams, recorded at the SEC Championships to win an SEC title and break the Ole Miss school record by 25 feet, ranked No. 5 in the United States and No. 15 worldwide last season.
Williams' discus PR earned him a spot at the USA Outdoor Championships last summer, where he finished fourth in the nation at 60.55m (198-08).
Williams was a First-Team All-American in the discus in 2017 after a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at 59.95m (196-08).
Williams is also preseason ranked in the shot put at No. 38 at 18.30m (60-00.50). Williams broke his own indoor school record this season at 19.24m (63-01.50).
Ole Miss has three senior men's distance runners ranked in multiple events: Ryan Manahan (800-meter, 12th, 1:46.96; 1500-meter, 40th, 3:42.79), Robert Domanic (1500-meter, 12th, 3:40.95; 5K, 45th, 13:54.64) and Sean Tobin (1500-meter, 25th, 3:42.07; 800-meter, 33rd, 1:47.99).
Domanic and Tobin are coming off a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships, alongside Alvin Westbrook and Waleed Suliman on the Rebel distance medley relay squad.
Rebel Women in Competition:
100-Meter: Nicole Henderson, Alia Holmes, Shannon Ray
200-Meter: Nicole Henderson, Alia Holmes, Shannon Ray
400-Meter: Jasmin Allen, Jolie Carbo, Mercedes Mattix, Aisha Newsome, Orianna Shaw
800-Meter: Shelby Brown, Kat MacNeal, Maddie McHugh
1500-Meter: Chelsea Drum, Lexi King, Maddie King, Maddy Nikkel, Ylva Traxler, Lisa Vogelgesang
3000-Meter: Emily Bean, Emma McClellan, Clio Ozanne-Jaques, Nicole Rice, Victoria Simmons
100-Meter Hurdles: Kieshonna Brooks, Haley Hood
4x100-Meter Relay: Nicole Henderson, Alia Holmes, Jolie Carbo, Shannon Ray
4x400-Meter Relay: Jolie Carbo, Jasmin Allen, Aisha Newsome, Mercedes Mattix, Orianna Shaw
High Jump: Haley Hood
Pole Vault: Sandra Brown, Nicole Kallenberger, Katy McAuley, Lindsey Murray
Long Jump: Kieshonna Brooks, Ralesheia Gee, Lanae Newsome, Kaira Simmons
Triple Jump: Lanae Newsome, Kaira Simmons
Shot Put: Leah Klein, Janeah Stewart, Shey Taiwo
Discus: Leah Klein, Janeah Stewart, Shey Taiwo
Hammer: Kendall Chavarria, Leah Klein, Annika Larsson, Janeah Stewart, Shey Taiwo
Javelin: Kieshonna Brooks, Alex Enright, Haley Hood
Rebel Men in Competition:
100-Meter: Courtland Barnes, Andrew Raspo
200-Meter: Courtland Barnes, Andrew Raspo
400-Meter: Alvin Westbrook
800-Meter: Cade Bethmann, Griffin Riley, John Rivera Jr., Shamar Tucker
1500-Meter: Trevor Gilley, Parker Scott
3000-Meter: Nolan Hesse, Mark Robertson, Ben Savino, Robinson Snider
400-Meter Hurdles: Christian Yancey
3000-Meter Steeplechase: Parker Scott
4x100-Meter Relay: Manny Foster, Fraquan Gaines, Courtland Barnes, Andrew Raspo
4x400-Meter Relay: Cade Bethmann, John Rivera Jr., Griffin Riley, Alvin Westbrook
High Jump: Allen Gordon
Pole Vault: Cole Colozzo, Peyton Weissmann
Long Jump: Manny Foster, Fraquan Gaines, Allen Gordon
Triple Jump: Manny Foster, Fraquan Gaines
Shot Put: Brian Williams
Discus: Cullen Prena, Brian Williams
Hammer: Chris Long, Cullen Prena
No. 22 Ole Miss Women | USTFCCCA Rankings | 76.78 points
2. Janeah Stewart - Shot Put - 17.86m (58-07.25) - 31.31 points
7. Janeah Stewart - Hammer Throw - 64.69m (212-03) - 19.06 points
10. Lindsey Murray - Pole Vault - 4.34m (14-02.75) - 13.23 points
15. Janeah Stewart - Discus - 56.39m (185-00) - 6.63 points
21. Shelby Brown - 3000-Meter Steeplechase - 10:06.67 - 2.90 points
25. Anna Braswell - 10000-Meter - 33:47.22 - 1.23 points
27. Maddie McHugh - 800-Meter - 2:05.23 - 1.17 points
31. Shannon Ray - 100-Meter Dash - 11.32 (w2.5) - 0.90 points
39. Shelby Brown - 1500-Meter - 4:19.09 - 0.35 points
No. 33 Ole Miss Men | USTFCCCA Rankings | 62.43 points
1. Brian Williams - Discus - 65.13m (213-08) - 36.28 points
12. Ryan Manahan - 800-Meter - 1:46.96 - 9.89 points
12. Robert Domanic - 1500-Meter - 3:40.95 - 9.84 points
21. Trevor Gilley - 1500-Meter - 3:41.77 - 2.99 points
25. Sean Tobin - 1500-Meter - 3:42.07 - 1.34 points
33. Sean Tobin - 800-Meter - 1:47.99 - 0.80 points
38. Brian Williams - Shot Put - 18.30m (60-00.50) - 0.30 points
39. Cullen Prena - Hammer Throw - 63.54m (208-05) - 0.28 points
40. Ryan Manahan - 1500-Meter - 3:42.79 - 0.44 points
45. Robert Domanic - 5000-Meter - 13:54.64 - 0.27 points
USTFCCCA Women's Preseason Top-25
1. Arkansas - 289.37
2. Oregon - 234.08
3. Georgia - 213.09
4. USC - 207.33
5. Texas - 199.58
6. Texas A&M - 191.69
7. Kansas State - 186.30
8. Florida - 170.69
9. LSU - 169.44
10. Stanford - 144.49
11. Minnesota - 139.82
12. Kentucky - 138.18
13. Purdue - 126.59
14. Arizona State - 120.09
15. Colorado - 113.35
16. Nebraska - 103.16
17. Oklahoma - 100.25
18. Michigan - 90.73
19. Florida State - 88.74
20. Virginia Tech - 81.07
21. San Diego State - 78.79
22. Ole Miss - 76.80
23. Tennessee - 76.15
24. Notre Dame - 75.75
25. Alabama - 73.03
USTFCCCA Men's Preseason Top-25
1. Oregon - 197.97
2. Texas A&M - 197.75
3. Houston - 196.54
4. Florida - 184.72
5. Georgia - 182.27
6. Alabama - 179.75
7. USC - 178.28
8. Texas Tech - 172.46
9. Nebraska - 156.22
10. Kansas - 139.18
11. Arkansas - 131.63
12. Virginia Tech - 124.63
13. South Carolina - 124.41
14. Mississippi State - 124.01
15. Colorado State - 119.38
16. Penn State - 107.68
17. Stanford - 105.48
18. Auburn - 103.81
19. Texas - 102.38
20. Virginia - 102.06
21. UCLA - 98.80
22. Kentucky - 79.35
23. BYU - 76.45
24. Michigan - 73.55
25. Baylor - 72.80
33. Ole Miss - 62.43
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