Track & Field Heads to Arkansas
Breanna Tate (photo by Tim Casey)
March 25, 2016

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OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss Rebels' second weekend of the 2016 outdoor track & field season will feature a westward trip to Fayetteville for the Arkansas Spring Invitational.

A strong lineup of teams from around the region will give test the early-season mettle of the Ole Miss athletes. Men's teams scheduled to compete include No. 5 Arkansas, No. 15 Tulsa, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Illinois and Illinois State. Women's teams include the likes of No. 3 Arkansas, No. 24 Oklahoma State, Missouri, Southern Illinois and Wichita State.

Most of the meet will occur between 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. Friday's lineup has the first few events of the women's heptathlon and men's decathlon, as well as the men's and women's hammer throw.

Three school records fell last weekend in the Rebels' outdoor season opener at Alabama.

Sophomore Raven Saunders broke the Ole Miss women's shot put (18.75m/61-6.25) and discus (56.85m/186-6) records in her outdoor debut with the school, garnering SEC Women's Field Athlete of the Week accolades. Both were personal bests, including her huge shot put mark that moved her up to No. 7 on the all-time collegiate outdoor list.

Sophomore Dempsey McGuigan took down his own school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 68.15m/223-7 in Tuscaloosa.

Through the first couple of weeks of the outdoor season, Ole Miss ranks top 11 in the NCAA in seven different events - Saunders in the shot put (1st) and discus (3rd); the women's 4x100-meter relay of Nicole Henderson, Shannon Ray, Breanna Tate and Khadijah Suleman (5th, 44.52); McKenna Coughlin in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase (6th, 10:45.32); Bo Ummels in the women's 1500 meters (7th, 4:24.41); Britt Ummels in the women's 1500 meters (11th, 4:25.45); and McGuigan in the men's hammer throw (4th).

Ole Miss will continue to rest many of its top distance runners who helped the men's team to record performances at the SEC and NCAA indoor meets.

Head Coach Connie Price-Smith Says:

"We are looking forward to the competition this weekend. It's the second outdoor meet and the first for some of our athletes. There are a lot of good athletes entered in the meet, so it should be fun and exciting to see how our athletes fare."

Notables:

  • After just one outdoor meet, sophomore Raven Saunders has already posted personal bests and school records in both the shot put and discus, with her shot put of 18.75m/61-6.25 moving her up to No. 7 on the all-time women's collegiate outdoor list.
  • Saunders now has the best indoor and outdoor shot put marks ever by an SEC woman.
  • Saunders is currently No. 2 on this year's world outdoor shot put rankings after finishing the indoor season at No. 5 in the world.
  • Saunders continues to be listed on the 10-woman Bowerman Award watch list.
  • This is the inaugural season of the Connie Price-Smith era at Ole Miss.
  • The Ole Miss men captured four event titles at the SEC Indoor Championships en route to their best team finish in school history (third place, 80.5 points). The 1983 and 1984 squads also finished third at the SEC indoor meet, with a lower point total.
  • The Rebels' six indoor All-Americans in 2016 were tied for the most in a season in school history.
  • Dempsey McGuigan's school-record hammer throw of 68.15m/223-7 last weekend would have been good enough to rank No. 12 in the NCAA at the end of last year.
  • Returning men's All-Americans (indoor, outdoor or cross country) include Robert Domanic, Craig Engels, MJ Erb, Branden Greene, Derek Gutierrez, Ryan Manahan, Sean Tobin and Ryan Walling.
  • Returning men's SEC champions (indoor or outdoor) include Domanic, Engels, Trevor Gilley, Manahan, Dameon Morgan, Holland Sherrer, Tobin and Walling.
  • Returning women's All-Americans (indoor or outdoor) include Nicole Henderson, Lindsey Murray, Shannon Ray, Raven Saunders and Khadijah Suleman.
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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