NCAA Track Championships Begin Wednesday

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Kristin Bridges (photo by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Kristin Bridges (photo by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

June 5, 2012

NCAA Championships Central | USTFCCCA NCAA Championships Information | Live Results

OXFORD, Miss. - Six Ole Miss athletes will be competing for a national title in eight different events when the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships get underway Wednesday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

The four-day championships will be streamed live with free access on NCAA.com (Wednesday) and ESPN3.com (Thursday-Saturday). ESPNU will televise Saturday's action from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (CT).

Competing for Ole Miss will be recently named USTFCCCA South Region Field Athlete of the Year Ricky Robertson (high jump, triple jump), Isiah Young (100 meters, 200 meters), Carson Blanks (400 meter hurdles), Sam Kendricks (pole vault), Kristin Bridges (400 meters) and Fabia McDonald (heptathlon). The Ole Miss men are currently ranked No. 14 in the nation.

"We are excited to start the competition," said head coach Joe Walker, who will be coaching his final meet with the Rebels after a distinguished 30-year career. "Our kids have worked hard all year in preparation for this test, and I feel like we are ready. It's always exciting when the best of the best compete."

Bridges will be the first Rebel to lace up her cleats in Des Moines. She will compete in the semifinals of the 400 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. It is the third appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the senior from Taylorsville, Miss., but her first time in an individual event. The women's 400 meter final will be Friday at 7:02 p.m.

Young will immediately follow Bridges in the men's 100 semis at 7:15 on Wednesday. The junior from Junction City, Kan., ranks fourth nationally in the event with a school-record time of 10.08 earlier this year. It will be his first NCAA Outdoor appearance since he transferred to Ole Miss from Allen Community College. The final will take place Friday at 5:55 p.m.

Next up will be Blanks in the men's 400 meter hurdles semis at 8:15 on Wednesday. The senior from Meridian, Miss., is competing in his third straight NCAA Outdoor meet in his signature event. He was runner-up at the SEC Outdoor meet by .001 second and ranks second all-time in school history in the event. The final is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. on Friday.

McDonald will get things underway Thursday with the first four heptathlon events, starting with the 100-meter hurdles at 1 p.m. The sophomore from Middletown, Ohio was runner-up at the SEC Outdoor Championships and ranks second in school history. The final three events of the heptathlon will take place Friday, beginning at 3 p.m.

Robertson will compete for the NCAA crown in the high jump at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. He was the NCAA runner-up at last year's outdoor meet and has twice been the NCAA runner-up indoors. He has the top collegiate and American high jump this year and is tied for second in the world (7-7.25).

Young, the SEC champion in the 200 meters, will run in the 200 semifinals at 5:30 on Thursday. He owns the school record with his time of 20.32 in Baton Rouge and ranks third nationally and 24th in the world this year. The final will be Saturday at 11:39 a.m.

Kendricks will continue his impressive rookie season in the men's pole vault on Friday at 4:30 p.m. The Oxford, Miss., native was runner-up at the SEC Outdoor meet with a school-record clearance of 18-0.5. He is tied for sixth in the NCAA this year. In his first year of college, he has set both the Ole Miss indoor and outdoor school records in the event and is the first Ole Miss man to ever clear 18 feet.

Robertson will compete in the triple jump at an NCAA Outdoor meet for the first time in his career on Friday at 4:30. He ranks eighth nationally in the event with a personal-best mark of 53-2.25.

In addition to live streaming and Saturday's ESPNU coverage, Ole Miss fans can stay up-to-date on the action in Des Moines via the Rebels' track twitter account (@OleMissTrack) and the Drake athletics twitter account (@DUBulldogs).

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