OXFORD, Miss. – In the final meet leading up to the Southeastern Conference Championships, the Ole Miss track and field team will compete Thursday-Saturday at the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Drake Relays are held at Drake Stadium, which will also be the site of the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, June 6-9. This is the 103rd edition of the Drake Relays, which features some of the world’s top track & field professional talent, along with several of the nation’s top college teams.
“We’re just hoping the weather isn’t too bad,” Rebel head coach Joe Walker said. “It’s supposed to be colder and rainy. We are always excited about this meet. It has so much history, and we have a history of doing well. Mike Granger won’t compete and that limits a couple of the relays that we thought we could have success in, but everyone else is ready.”
The Rebels put together several impressive performances at last year’s Relays.
Neal Tisher was the runner-up in the pole vault, clearing a height of 13-5.25. Caleb Lee finished fourth in the long jump with a jump of 24-09.25. Ricky Robertson placed third (second among collegiate athletes) in the high jump with a height of 7-5.75. Granger clocked a 10.24 in the 100 meters to finish second, while Kipchirchir Kiptoo was second in the 3,000 meters.
The Rebel men moved up one spot to No. 11 in this week’s USTFCCCA poll, their highest ranking since finishing the 2011 indoor season ranked No. 11. It’s their highest outdoor ranking since they were 10th on April 27, 2010.
Robertson continues to lead the way for the Rebel men. The five-time All-American carries the world’s top high jump this year (7-7.25) and also ranks seventh in the NCAA in the triple jump (53-2.25) and 16th in the long jump (25-0.75).
Junior All-American Isiah Young is fourth nationally in the 200 meters (20.33) and seventh in the 100 (10.16), while Granger is eighth in the 100 (10.17).
Sam Kendricks, the SEC Co-Men’s Freshman of the Week, now ranks seventh in the country, and second among freshmen, in the pole vault after breaking Baker Vinci’s 27-year old school record. In his first year of college, Kendricks has set both the Ole Miss indoor and outdoor school records in the event.
If the NCAA Regionals were today, Ole Miss would qualify 14 men in 11 different events.
For the Rebel women, Fabia McDonald is currently the top-ranked Rebel female as she is 10th nationally in the heptathlon (5,524 points).
If the NCAA Regionals were today, Ole Miss would qualify 12 women in 11 different events.
A complete list of current top 50 nationally ranked Rebel athletes is listed below.
Distance runners will compete on Thursday afternoon and evening. The Rebels’ first event Friday will be the women’s 4x100 at 9:32 a.m. CT, while Saturday’s first event will be the women’s shuttle hurdle relay, which is set to begin at 8:22 a.m. CT.
This is the Rebels’ final weekend of competition before the SEC Championships, which will be held May 10-13 in Baton Rouge, La.
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