April 12, 2018
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss men’s and women’s track & field returns home to honor its senior class with the 2018 Joe Walker Invite at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex on Friday and Saturday.
Competition begins at 1 p.m. with the beginning of the heptathlon on Friday, and the heptathlon kicks things off again on Saturday at 9:45 a.m.
• First 200 fans receive free t-shirts, courtesy of MS Ford Dealers
• Ole Miss will honor 26 senior student-athletes and managers in a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. Included are: Jasmin Allen, Emily Bean, Taylor Caldwell, Jolie Carbo, Jasmine Cherry, Hannah Christen, Dylan Day, Robert Domanic, Trevor Gilley, Nicole Henderson, Nolan Hesse, K’Viana “KV” Jones, Kat MacNeal, Ryan Manahan, Mercedes Mattix, Katy McAuley, Dempsey McGuigan, Aisha Newsome, Lanae Newsome, Maddy Nikkel, Cullen Prena, Shannon Ray, Porsha Shirley, Janeah Stewart, Sean Tobin and Brian Williams.
• This is the second Joe Walker Invite, which is named for the former Ole Miss track & field coach who led the Rebels to 11 top-20 national finishes, 124 All-America honors, 12 NCAA individual champions and 60 SEC individual titles during his 30-year career in Oxford. Known for his ability to groom elite-level jumpers and hurdlers and for his warm and caring persona, Walker was inducted into the Ole Miss M-Club Alumni Hall of Fame in 2016.
• 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.
• Joining Ole Miss in competition this weekend are Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Central Michigan, Jackson State (men only), Memphis, Meridian CC, Saint Louis, Southeast Missouri and West Alabama.
• The Rebel women remained in the national top-25 at No. 21 in the latest USTFCCCA National Computer Rankigns. The Rebel men sit in the top-50 at No. 40 for the second-straight week.
• The Rebel women have ranked in the top-25 for 13 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 16 of the 23 outdoor rankings releases.
• No. 22 was 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 is coming off a strong weekend at Georgia’s Spec Towns Invite, where the Rebels snagged five event titles.
• In their first home meet in the Ole Miss Classic on march 31, the Rebels claimed nine total event titles -- including six on the women’s side and two alone from senior All-American Janeah Stewart.
• The Rebels opened the season with two narrow scored team battles at the inaugural Trailblazer Challenge in Los Angeles on March 23-24, 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, 148-141, while the men finished second to Ohio State, 152-113, while beating out the reigning indoor national runners-up, No. 7 USC (102).
• The Rebel women hold 11 national top-50 marks and times through three meets of outdoor competition, with 22 also within the NCAA East Region top-48. Of those top-50 rankings, two are within the top-10 and nine within the top-25. The Rebel men, meanwhile, hold six in the NCAA top-50 and 11 within the East Region top-48.
• 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).
• 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.
• Senior All-American Janeah Stewart currently accounts for 59.72 of the 86.38 total points the No. 21 Rebel women are receiving in the latest USTFCCCA Rankings. She ranks in the national top-20 in all three of her throwing events: the hammer throw (67.70m/222-01; 4th NCAA, 2nd East), the shot put (17.11m/56-01.75; 6th NCAA, 1st East) and the discus (54.39m/178-05; 17th NCAA, 5th East).
• Stewart is the only thrower in the East region and one of just two nationally to rank within the national top-17 in the hammer, shot and discus. The other is Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen, who is the national leader in all three events. Regionally, Stewart ranks top-five in all three and she leads in the shot put.
• Both Stewart and Ewen were the only two athletes to triple at the national meet in 2017.
• Stewart set season-bests in both the shot put and discus last week, and she broke her own school record in the hammer by 10 feet in the season-opener in LA.
• 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 on the NCAA all-time top-10 are pupils of head coach Connie Price-Smith and throws coach John Smith.
• Fellow senior Jolie Carbo also has her hands on three different national top-50 times, with the 16th-fastest 400-meter time at 52.87 (fifth-fastest in Ole Miss history), and as members of two different 4x100-meter relays that rank 15th (44.10; Nicole Henderson, Alia Holmes, Carbo, Shannon Ray) and 30th (44.73; Henderson, T’Aja Cameron, Carbo, Ray).
• Regionally, Carbo’s 400 time ranks 10th and those 4x100s sitting ninth and 14th, respectively.
• Indoors in 2018, Carbo became one of just four Rebel women to ever break 54 seconds in the 400. On the outdoor Ole Miss list, Carbo is one of just five Rebel women to ever break 53 seconds.
• 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 in the season open at the Trailblazer Challenge, running the 11th-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.
• Junior Maddie McHugh was named the SEC Women’s Runner of the Week after an exciting 800 win at the Trailblazer Challenge to open the season, edging out Miami’s Kayla Johnson at the finish line at 2:06.12 -- her best 800 open of her career. McHugh currently ranks second in the SEC while ranking ninth overall in the East Region and 12th in the nation at that time.
• Fellow distance runner and senior Shelby Brown is coming off a very strong open in the 1500-meter at the Ole Miss Classic, where she won at a time of 4:20.47 -- just barely off her school-record time of 4:19.09 from 2017. Brown currently ranks third in the SEC, 13th in the East Region and 21st overall in the NCAA at that time. Brown was an NCAA qualifier in the steeplechase in 2017 after running a school-record 10:06.67 at the NCAA East Regional. That time entered the 2018 season as the 21st-best in the NCAA among returnees.
• Redshirt junior pole vaulter Lindsey Murray cleared a season-best 4.16m (13-07.75) at Georgia last week, pushing her up to No. 16 in the NCAA and No. 10 in the East Region. Murray opened the year with a win at the Trailblazer Challenge at 4.06m (13-03.75).
• Murray missed the 2017 outdoor season due to injury, but is coming off yet another appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, 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.
• Sophomore Kieshonna Brooks broke her own national record from her native Saint Kitts and Nevis in the heptathlon last week, finishing runner-up at Georgia at 4,988 points. Brooks originally set the record at the 2017 SEC Championships. Brooks, along with Haley Hood and Ghania Warren, will once again face the heptathlon at home this weekend. Hood (42nd, 4,004) and Warren (45th, 3,863) both rank within the top-48 in the East Region.
• Sophomore jumper Kaira Simmons is coming off a career-day in the long jump at the Ole Miss classic, where she won at an outdoor PR of 6.06m (19-10.75) -- currently the 26th-best in the East Region. Simmons owns an overall career-best of 6.27m (20-07.00) from her freshman indoor season in 2017.
• Senior Lanae Newsome helped Simmons sweep the horizontal jumps for Ole Miss at home last weekend, leaping a season-best 12.38m (40-07.50) for the win. Newsome currently ranks 28th in the East Region.
• Other Rebels ranked within the East Region top-48 include: two 4x400-meter relays (30th, 3:40.00, Carbo, Jasmin Allen, Orianna Shaw, Mercedes Mattix; 35th, 3:40.38, Carbo, Allen, Newsome, Mattix), Jasmine Cherry in the high jump (1.70m/5-07.00, 38th East), Kendall Chavarria in the hammer (56.91m/186-08, 43rd East), Nicole Henderson in the 100-meter (11.67, 46th East), Kieshonna Brooks in the long jump (5.91m/19-04.75, 46th East), and Alia Holmes in the 100-meter (11.68, 47th East).
• Senior All-American Brian Williams leads the Rebel men with two national top-25 marks. He currently ranks No. 2 in the NCAA in the discus at his season-opening throw of 61.20m (200-09) at the Trailblazer Challenge -- the top throw in the East Region. Williams also holds the 21st-best shot put mark nationally (15th regionally) at his new school-record heave of 18.67m (61-03.00) from the Trailblazer Challenge as well.
• That throw in the shot put broke the 2009 school record of 18.51m (60-08.75) set by Derek McGuire.
• Williams holds a monster PR in the discus of 65.13m (213-08) from 2017, which won him an SEC title and broke the Ole Miss school record by 25 feet. It ended the year ranked No. 5 in the United States and No. 15 worldwide, earning 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 currently contributing 35.85 of the 55.68 total points that the No. 40 Rebel men are receiving in the USTFCCCA Rankings.
• Freshman Allen Gordon had an incredible weekend at Georgia last week, setting monster PRs in both the high jump and long jump.
• Gordon first took third in the long jump at a two-foot PR of 7.62m (25-00.00) -- currently No. 33 in the NCAA and No. 19 in the East Region. He followed that up with another third-place finish in the high jump at 2.16m (7-01.00), making him one of just five Rebel men to ever clear 7-foot-1 or higher outdoors to improve on his standing in fifth all-time at Ole Miss. That jump currently ranks No. 16 nationally and No. 10 in the East Region.
• Oregon grad transfer Cullen Prena is coming off a very productive weekend for the Rebels at the Ole Miss Classic, moving up the all-time lists in both the hammer and discus.
• Prena was the runner-up in the discus at a four-foot PR of 56.28m (184-08), the third-best throw in school history which puts him No. 24 nationally and No. 15 in the East Region. Prena notched a one-inch hammer best last week at Georgia of 60.73m (199-03) to improve on his place in fifth all-time at Ole Miss and put him at No. 36 in the East Region.
• Freshman Cade Bethmann improved in the 800-meter for the second week in a row at the Ole Miss Classic, winning at a PR time of 1:50.47 to put him at No. 27 in the East Region. Bethmann helped lead a 14-point run in the 800 at the Trailblazer Challenge, finishing second at what was then a PR time of 1:51.00.
• Senior Trevor Gilley opened his 2018 season with a win in the 1500 at the Trailblazer Challenge at 3:47.44, currently the 32nd-best in the East Region. Gilley’s overall career-best of 3:41.77 is still contributing to the Rebels’ No. 40 team ranking as part of the preseason data.
• Gilley was also the runner-up in the 3K at the Trailblazer Challenge at 8:27.02, an event in which the Rebels scored 25 points. Gilley scored 18 total points for the Rebel men out in LA.
• Sophomore Parker Scott won that 3K race at a new school-record in the non-standard race at 8:25.62, besting Bo Boatner’s 1993 time of 8:26.92.
• Other Rebel men ranking within the top-48 of the NCAA East Region include: Peyton Weissmann in the pole vault (5.05m/16-06.75, 35th East), and Griffin Riley in the 800-meter (1:50.90, 43rd East).
• Ole Miss has three additional senior men’s distance runners that have not run yet, but 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: Nicole Henderson, Shannon Ray, Porsha Shirley
200-Meter: Jasmin Allen, Jolie Carbo, Nicole Henderson, Mercedes Mattix, Aisha Newsome, Jeanette Paul, Shannon Ray, Orianna Shaw, Porsha Shirley
400-Meter: Jasmin Allen, Jolie Carbo, Mercedes Mattix, Aisha Newsome, Orianna Shaw
1500-Meter: Emily Bean, Hannah Christen, Chelsea Drum, Anna Elkin, Lexi King, Maddie King, Kat MacNeal, Maddy Nikkel, Clio Ozanne-Jaques, Victoria Simmons, Ylva Traxler, Lisa Vogelgesang
100-Meter Hurdles: Jeanette Paul
400-Meter Hurdles: Jeanette Paul
4x100-Meter Relay: Nicole Henderson, T’Aja Cameron, Jolie Carbo, Shannon Ray
4x400-Meter Relay: Jolie Carbo, Jasmin Allen, Aisha Newsome, Mercedes Mattix
High Jump: Jasmine Cherry
Pole Vault: Sandra Brown, Nicole Kallenberger, Katy McAuley, Lindsey Murray
Long Jump: 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: Kendall Chavarria
Heptathlon: Kieshonna Brooks, Haley Hood, Ghania Warren
Rebel Men in Competition:
100-Meter: Courtland Barnes, Andrew Raspo
200-Meter: Courtland Barnes, Andrew Raspo, Alvin Westbrook, Christian Yancey
400-Meter: Alvin Westbrook
800-Meter: Griffin Riley, John Rivera Jr., Everett Smulders, Waleed Suliman
1500-Meter: Cade Bethmann, Taylor Caldwell, Robert Domanic, Trevor Gilley, Brandon Harvey, Michael Coccia, Mark Robertson, Ben Savino, Parker Scott, Sean Tobin
400-Meter Hurdles: Christian Yancey
3000-Meter Steeplechase: Parker Scott
4x100-Meter Relay: Manny Foster, Andrew Raspo, Alvin Westbrook, Courtland Barnes
4x400-Meter Relay: Griffin Riley, John Rivera Jr., Everett Smulders, Waleed Suliman
High Jump: Allen Gordon
Pole Vault: Austin Garrett, Peyton Weissmann
Long Jump: Manny Foster, Allen Gordon
Shot Put: Brian Williams
Discus: Cullen Prena, Brian Williams
Hammer: Chris Long, Cullen Prena
No. 21 Rebel Women | NCAA Top-50
4. Janeah Stewart – Hammer – 67.70m (222-01)
6. Janeah Stewart – Shot Put – 17.11m (56-01.75)
12. Shannon Ray – 100-Meter Dash – 11.25 (w3.5)
12. Maddie McHugh – 800-Meter – 2:06.12
15. 4x100-Meter Relay (Henderson, Holmes, Carbo, Ray) – 44.10
16. Jolie Carbo – 400-Meter Dash – 52.87
16. Lindsey Murray – Pole Vault – 4.16m (13-07.75)
17. Janeah Stewart – Discus – 54.39m (178-05)
21. Shelby Brown – 1500-Meter – 4:20.47
30. 4x100-Meter Relay (Henderson, Cameron, Carbo, Ray) – 44.73
31. Kieshonna Brooks – Heptathlon – 4,988
No. 21 Rebel Women | NCAA East Region Top-48
1. Janeah Stewart – Shot Put – 17.11m (56-01.75)
2. Janeah Stewart – Hammer – 67.70m (222-01)
5. Janeah Stewart – Discus – 54.39m (178-05)
6. Shannon Ray – 100-Meter Dash – 11.25 (w3.5)
9. Maddie McHugh – 800-Meter – 2:06.12
9. 4x100-Meter Relay (Henderson, Holmes, Carbo, Ray) – 44.10
10. Jolie Carbo – 400-Meter Dash – 52.87
10. Lindsey Murray – Pole Vault – 4.16m (13-07.75)
10. Kieshonna Brooks – Heptathlon – 4,988
13. Shelby Brown – 1500-Meter – 4:20.47
14. 4x100-Meter Relay (Henderson, Cameron, Carbo, Ray) – 44.73
26. Kaira Simmons – Long Jump – 6.06m (19-10.75)
28. Lanae Newsome – Triple Jump – 12.38m (40-07.50)
30. 4x400-Meter Relay (Carbo, Allen, Shaw, Mattix) – 3:40.00
35. 4x400-Meter Relay (Carbo, Allen, A. Newsome, Mattix) – 3:40.38
38. Jasmine Cherry – High Jump – 1.70m (5-07.00)
42. Haley Hood – Heptathlon – 4,004
43. Kendall Chavarria – Hammer – 56.91m (186-08)
45. Ghania Warren – Heptathlon – 3,863
46. Nicole Henderson – 100-Meter Dash – 11.67 (w1.6)
46. Kieshonna Brooks – Long Jump – 5.91m (19-04.75)
47. Alia Holmes – 100-Meter Dash – 11.68 (w1.6)
No. 40 Rebel Men | NCAA Top-50
2. Brian Williams – Discus – 61.20m (200-09)
16. Allen Gordon – High Jump – 2.16m (7-01.00)
21. Brian Williams – Shot Put – 18.67m (61-03.00)
24. Cullen Prena – Discus – 56.28m (184-08)
33. Allen Gordon – Long Jump – 7.62m (25-00.00)
49. Manny Foster – Long Jump – 7.52m (24-08.25)
No. 40 Rebel Men | NCAA East Region Top-48
1. Brian Williams – Discus – 61.20m (200-09)
10. Allen Gordon – High Jump – 2.16m (7-01.00)
11. Brian Williams – Shot Put – 18.67m (61-03.00)
15. Cullen Prena – Discus – 56.28m (184-08)
19. Allen Gordon – Long Jump – 7.62m (25-00.00)
26. Manny Foster – Long Jump – 7.52m (24-08.25)
27. Cade Bethmann – 800-Meter – 1:50.47
32. Trevor Gilley – 1500-Meter – 3:47.44
35. Peyton Weissmann – Pole Vault – 5.05m (16-06.75)
36. Cullen Prena – Hammer – 60.73m (199-03)
43. Griffin Riley – 800-Meter – 1:50.90
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