March 29, 2018
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss track & field returns home to host its first home meet of 2018 with the Ole Miss Classic on Saturday.
Free crawfish (beginning at 1 p.m.)
Free Ole Miss Track & Field posters
A total of nine Division I schools on the women's side will be in competition aside the No. 22 Rebel women: Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Illinois, Indiana State, No. 11 Minnesota, Missouri, Saint Louis, Temple and UT-Martin. Division III Rhodes College will also compete.
Alongside the Rebel men will be eight Division I schools: Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Illinois, Indiana State, Missouri, Saint Louis, Temple, UT-Martin. Division III Rhodes College will compete on the men's side as well.
The 2017 season was the first for the renovated Ole Miss Track & Field Complex, which received $7.2 million in upgrades and can seat 1,500 spectators in its new design.
Ole Miss is coming off two narrow team battles at the inaugural Trailblazer Challenge out in Los Angeles to open the outdoor season last week, which featured the five Power-5 schools that have women in charge of combined men's and women's track & field programs: Miami (Amy Deem), Ohio State (Karen Dennis), Tennessee (Beth Alford-Sullivan), USC (Caryl Smith Gilbert), and Ole Miss' own Connie Price-Smith.
The No. 22 Rebel women fell in a tight battle with No. 4 USC, leading 127-110 with four events left to ultimately fall 148-141 to the Trojans -- who were coming off a national top-10 finish indoors.
Ole Miss was in a close 67-62 fight with Ohio State with eight events left, but a big surge late in the pole vault for the Buckeye men gave Ohio State a 152-113 win over the Rebel men -- who beat the indoor national runners-up, No. 7 USC (102).
The Rebel women hold 10 national top-50 marks and times, with 21 within the NCAA East Region top-48. The Ole Miss men, meanwhile, hold six in the NCAA top-50 and 13 in the East Region top-48. Of those 16 in the national top-50, 11 rank within the top-20 and eight within the top-10. Ole Miss also holds three marks that lead the NCAA East Region list.
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 March 20, 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, First-Team).
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.
Despite losing to No. 4 USC, 148-141, in the last stages of the Trailblazer Challenge, Ole Miss still beat out three other high-major programs in Ohio State (103), Miami (77) and No. 23 Tennessee (70).
The Rebel women won three event titles last week: junior Maddie McHugh in the 800-meter, senior Lindsey Murray in the pole vault and junior Alex Enright in the javelin.
McHugh was named the SEC Women's Runner of the Week after an exciting 800 win at the Trailblazer Challenge, edging out Miami's Kayla Johnson at the finish line at 2:06.12 -- her best 800 open of her career. McHugh currently leads the SEC and the NCAA East Region at that time, which ranks No. 2 nationally.
Janeah Stewart, one of just two women in the NCAA in 2017 to triple at the national meet, already ranks in the top-50 nationally and the top-20 regionally in all three of her events, leading the East Region and ranking third in the nation in the shot put at 16.85m (55-03.50), ranking second in the East and fourth nationally in the hammer at her new school record of 67.70m (222-01) and 20th in the East in the discus at 50.36m (165-03), which also ranks No. 48 in the NCAA.
Stewart entered 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 accounted 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.
Senior sprinter Jolie Carbo opened the outdoor season at a blistering PR in the 400-meter at 52.87 -- the fifth-fastest in Ole Miss history and the No. 3 time in the NCAA this year. Indoors, Carbo became one of just four Rebel women to ever break 54 seconds in the 400. Her outdoor open also ranks as the third-best time in the East Region.
Carbo was also a member on two excellent Rebel relay squads that opened the outdoor season with national top-20 times. The women's 4x100-meter relay of Nicole Henderson, Alia Holmes, Carbo and Shannon Ray currently ranks eighth at 44.10 (the fourth-fastest in school history), and the 4x400-meter relay of Carbo, Jasmin Allen, Aisha Newsome and Mercedes Mattix sits at No. 20 at 3:40.38.
Both Henderson and Ray were members of the 2017 4x100-meter relay team that qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Ray came within one-hundredth of a second of the all-time Ole Miss school record in the 100-meter dash last week, running the fifth-fastest time in the nation at 11.25 seconds (wind: 3.5). The Ole Miss record of 11.24 belongs to Teneeshia Jones, who ran it on Jun. 18, 2000, in Chapel Hill, N.C. with a 0.5 wind.
Redshirt junior pole vaulter Lindsey Murray opened her first outdoor season in two years with a win at the Trailblazer Challenge at 4.06m (13-03.75), currently the seventh-best clearance in the NCAA and fourth-best in the East Region.
Murray missed the 2017 outdoor season due to injury, but is coming off yet another appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this month, where she was the lone senior in competition to have qualified for the national meet all four years. She entered the 2018 outdoor season 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 entered 2018 as the 21st-best in the nation.
Brown is also contributing with a 4:19.09 mark in the 1500-meter, which entered the year No. 39 nationally.
Other Rebels ranked within the East Region top-48 include: Kat MacNeal in the 800-meter (2:10.65, 17th East, 46th NCAA), Kieshonna Brooks in the long jump (5.91m/19-04.75, 23rd East), Nicole Henderson in the 200-meter (23.89, 26th East) and 100-meter (11.67, 28th East), Alia Holmes in the 100-meter (11.68, 29th East), Kaira Simmons in the long jump (5.84m/19-02.00, 31st East), Lanae Newsome in the triple jump (12.08m/39-07.75, 32nd East), Kendall Chavarria in the hammer (56.91m/186-08, 32nd East), Nicole Kallenberger in the pole vault (3.70m/12-01.50, 37th East), Katy McAuley in the pole vault (3.70m/12-01.50, 37th East), Orianna Shaw in the 400-meter (55.01, 43rd East) and Mercedes Mattix in the 400-meter (55.14, 45th East).
Despite losing to Ohio State last week, the Rebel men's impressive weekend was enough to get past indoor national runner-up No. 7 USC (102), Tennessee (100) and Miami (46).
Ole Miss won three men's titles at the Trailblazer Challenge last week: Brian Williams in the discus, Trevor Gilley in the 1500-meter and Parker Scott in the non-standard 3000-meter.
Ole Miss was within just 10 points of the top-25 on the men's side in the USTFCCCA Preseason Computer Rankings, 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 preseason ranking at 62.43 points, but none more so than senior All-American thrower Brian Williams.
Williams won the discus at the Trailblazer Challenge at an open of 61.20m (200-09), the top throw in the East Region and the second-best nationally this season.
Williams also finished third in the shot put at an outdoor PR of 18.67m (61-03.00), breaking the 2009 school record of 18.51m (60-08.75) set by Derek McGuire.
Williams' shot put open puts him at No. 6 in the East and No. 13 in the NCAA, making him the only thrower nationally to rank in the top-13 of both events.
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).
Freshman Allen Gordon took runner-up honors in the high jump at 2.14m (7-00.25), the fifth-best height in Ole Miss history that puts him at No. 11 nationally and No. 8 in the East Region. Gordon also ranks fifth all-time on the Ole Miss indoor list in the high jump.
Gilley ranks No. 22 in the NCAA and 14th in the East Region in the 1500 at his winning time of 3:47.44 from last week, and he also finished second in the 3K at 8:27.02 to help a 25-point run in the event for the Rebel men. Gilley scored 18 total points for the Rebel men last week.
Sophomore Parker Scott won the 3K at a new school-record in the non-standard race at 8:25.62, besting Bo Boatner's 1993 time of 8:26.92.
Freshman Cade Bethmann led a 14-point run of his own in the 800-meter, finishing second at 1:51.00 -- currently the 26th-best time in the NCAA and 16th in the East Region.
Oregon grad transfer Cullen Prena holds an NCAA top-50 mark in the discus at No. 37 at 53.51m (175-07), the 13th-best in the East Region. Prena also holds the 44th-best hammer mark in the East at 55.45m (181-11).
Other Rebel men ranking within the top-48 of the NCAA East Region include: Manny Foster in the long jump (7.36m/24-01.75, 27th East), Fraquan Gaines in the triple jump (14.73m/48-04.00, 28th East), Griffin Riley in the 800-meter (1:52.51, 29th East), both Cole Colozzo and Peyton Weissmann in the pole vault (4.91m/16-01.25, 31st East) and John Rivera Jr. in the 800-meter (1:53.34, 46th East).
Ole Miss has three senior men's distance runners that entered 2018 preseason 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: T'Aja Cameron, Porsha Shirley
200-Meter: Jasmin Allen, T'Aja Cameron, Jolie Carbo, Nicole Henderson, Alia Holmes, Mercedes Mattix, Shannon Ray, Orianna Shaw, Porsha Shirley
400-Meter: Aisha Newsome
800-Meter: Lexi King, Maddie King
1500-Meter: Shelby Brown, Chelsea Drum, Kat MacNeal, Maddie McHugh, Maddy Nikkel, Victoria Simmons
100-Meter Hurdles: Kieshonna Brooks, Haley Hood, Jeanette Paul, Ghania Warren
4x100-Meter Relay: Nicole Henderson, Alia Holmes, Jolie Carbo, Shannon Ray
4x400-Meter Relay: Orianna Shaw, Porsha Shirley, Sandra Brown, Jeanette Paul
High Jump: Kieshonna Brooks, Jasmine Cherry, Ghania Warren, Lilli Williamson
Pole Vault: Sandra Brown, Nicole Kallenberger, Katy McAuley, Lindsey Murray
Long Jump: Ralesheia Gee, Haley Hood, Kaira Simmons, Ghania Warren
Triple Jump: Lanae Newsome, Kaira Simmons
Shot Put: Kieshonna Brooks, Haley Hood, 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: Alex Enright
Rebel Men in Competition:
100-Meter: Courtland Barnes, Manny Foster, Andrew Raspo
200-Meter: Alvin Westbrook
800-Meter: Cade Bethmann, Trevor Gilley, Griffin Riley, John Rivera Jr.
1500-Meter: Taylor Caldwell, Nolan Hesse, Ben Savino, Shamar Tucker
400-Meter Hurdles: Christian Yancey
High Jump: Allen Gordon
Pole Vault: Austin Garrett, Peyton Weissmann
Triple Jump: Fraquan Gaines
Shot Put: Brian Williams
Discus: Cullen Prena, Brian Williams
Hammer: Chris Long, Cullen Prena
No. 22 Rebel Women | NCAA Top-50
2. Maddie McHugh - 800-Meter - 2:06.12
3. Jolie Carbo - 400-Meter Dash - 52.87
3. Janeah Stewart - Shot Put - 16.85m (55-03.50)
4. Janeah Stewart - Hammer - 67.70m (222-01)
5. Shannon Ray - 100-Meter Dash - 11.25 (w3.5)
7. Lindsey Murray - Pole Vault - 4.06m (13-03.75)
8. 4x100-Meter Relay - 44.10 (Henderson, Holmes, Carbo, Ray)
20. 4x400-Meter Relay - 3:40.38 (Carbo, Allen, Newsome, Mattix)
46. Kat MacNeal - 800-Meter - 2:10.65
48. Janeah Stewart - Discus - 50.36m (165-03)
No. 33 Rebel Men | NCAA Top-50
2. Brian Williams - Discus - 61.20m (200-09)
11. Allen Gordon - High Jump - 2.14m (7-00.25)
13. Brian Williams - Shot Put - 18.67m (61-03.00)
22. Trevor Gilley - 1500-Meter - 3:47.44
26. Cade Bethmann - 800-Meter - 1:51.00
37. Cullen Prena - Discus - 53.51m (175-07)
No. 22 Rebel Women | NCAA East Region Top-48
1. Maddie McHugh - 800-Meter - 2:06.12
1. Janeah Stewart - Shot Put - 16.85m (55-03.50)
2. Shannon Ray - 100-Meter Dash - 11.25 (w3.5)
2. Janeah Stewart - Hammer - 67.70m (222-01)
3. Jolie Carbo - 400-Meter Dash - 52.87
4. Lindsey Murray - Pole Vault - 4.06m (13-03.75)
4. 4x100-Meter Relay - 44.10 (Henderson, Holmes, Carbo, Ray)
13. 4x400-Meter Relay - 3:40.38 (Carbo, Allen, Newsome, Mattix)
17. Kat MacNeal - 800-Meter - 2:10.65
20. Janeah Stewart - Discus - 50.36m (165-03)
23. Kieshonna Brooks - Long Jump - 5.91m (19-04.75)
26. Nicole Henderson - 200-Meter Dash - 23.89 (w2.5)
28. Nicole Henderson - 100-Meter Dash - 11.67 (w1.6)
29. Alia Holmes - 100-Meter Dash - 11.68 (w1.6)
31. Kaira Simmons - Long Jump - 5.84m (19-02.00)
32. Lanae Newsome - Triple Jump - 12.08m (39-07.75)
32. Kendall Chavarria - Hammer - 56.91m (186-08)
37. Nicole Kallenberger - Pole Vault - 3.70m (12-01.50)
37. Katy McAuley - Pole Vault - 3.70m (12-01.50)
43. Orianna Shaw - 400-Meter Dash - 55.01
45. Mercedes Mattix - 400-Meter Dash - 55.14
No. 33 Rebel Men | NCAA East Region Top-48
1. Brian Williams - Discus - 61.20m (200-09)
6. Brian Williams - Shot Put - 18.67m (61-03.00)
8. Allen Gordon - High Jump - 2.14m (7-00.25)
13. Cullen Prena - Discus - 53.51m (175-07)
14. Trevor Gilley - 1500-Meter - 3:47.44
16. Cade Bethmann - 800-Meter - 1:51.00
27. Manny Foster - Long Jump - 7.36m (24-01.75)
28. Fraquan Gaines - Triple Jump - 14.73m (48-04.00)
29. Griffin Riley - 800-Meter - 1:52.51
31. Cole Colozzo - Pole Vault - 4.91m (16-01.25)
31. Peyton Weissmann - Pole Vault - 4.91m (16-01.25)
44. Cullen Prena - Hammer - 55.45m (181-11)
46. John Rivera Jr. - 800-Meter - 1:53.34
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