Eight Rebels Earn All-SEC Status at Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Robert Domanic and Craig Engels on the awards stand at the SEC Outdoor Championships (photo by Petre Thomas)
May 18, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – Led by three SEC event champions, a total of eight Rebels earned All-Southeastern Conference honors at last week’s outdoor league championships in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Craig Engels (men’s 1500 meters), Branden Greene (men’s high jump) and Raven Saunders (women’s shot put) made the All-SEC first team by winning league titles. Five more Rebels were recognized on the second team by finishing second or third in their events.

For comparison, Ole Miss had one champion (Brooke Feldmeier, women’s 800 meters) and four total All-SEC recipients at last year’s SEC outdoor meet.

With a fifth-place team showing (66.5 points) this year, the Rebel men matched the 2014 team with the program's second-best SEC outdoor result. Only the 1984 squad's runner-up finish has been higher.

The distance events were especially strong for the Rebels, as Ole Miss finished 1-2 in the 1500 meters (Engels, Robert Domanic), 2-3 in the 5000 meters (Ryan Walling, MJ Erb) and third in the 3000-meter steeplechase (Erb). Engels is the first SEC 1500 meter champion in school history, while Walling and Erb’s performance in the 5K and steeple were the best since the Kirui brothers (Barnabas and Martin) starred for Ole Miss in 2010.

Saunders, only a sophomore, won the 2016 SEC Commissioner's Trophy as the highest scoring individual female at the meet. She earned a whopping 21 points with her victory in the shot put Friday (SEC meet record 18.58m/60-11.5), a runner-up finish in the discus Saturday (56.24m/184-6) and a sixth-place showing in the hammer throw Thursday (57.97m/190-2). The Charleston, South Carolina, native produced the highest SEC outdoor finish in school history in the shot and discus and was second-best in school history in the hammer.

Here is a breakdown of the Rebels’ All-SEC performers last weekend:

Craig Engels – 1500m – 1st (3:50.71)
Branden Greene – high jump – 1st (2.19m/7-2.25)
Robert Domanic – 1500m – 2nd (3:50.92)
Ryan Walling – 5000m – 2nd (13:56.21)
MJ Erb – 5000m – 3rd (14:05.23)
MJ Erb – 3000m steeplechase – 3rd (8:43.06)
Dempsey McGuigan – hammer throw – 3rd (68.55m/224-11)

Raven Saunders – shot put – 1st (18.58m/60-11.5)
Emily Bean – 10,000m – 2nd (34:08.16)
Raven Saunders – discus – 2nd (56.24m/184-6)

First-team honorees in bold

Next up for Ole Miss is the NCAA East Preliminary Round, set for May 26-28 in Jacksonville, Florida. Entries will be announced soon. The top 12 finishers in each event there will move on to Eugene, Oregon, for the June 8-11 NCAA Championships.

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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