DES MOINES, Iowa -Isiah Young is headed back to the international track & field stage.
Young, who graduated from Ole Miss last month, captured a silver medal in the men's 200 meters at the USA Championships on Sunday to propel him to the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia (Aug. 10-18).
After shattering most of the school sprinting records during his phenomenal two-plus year Rebel career, Young took it to another level against the elite American sprinting field at Drake Stadium. Young clocked a personal-best 19.86 to finish second behind Tyson Gay (19.74) and ahead of third-place Curtis Mitchell (19.99). He also beat out three-time USA Champion Wallace Spearmon (20.10), 2013 NCAA Champion Ameer Webb (20.20) and Olympian Maurice Mitchell (20.32).
To put Young's 19.86 in perspective, it was the third-best time in the world as of Sunday afternoon behind Gay and Usain Bolt (19.79). Young now shares the distinction of being the 12th-best American ever over 200 meters. And it shattered his previous best times of 20.12 from last year's U.S. Olympic Trials and 20.09 from Saturday's prelims.
"Technically, I thought it was good," said Young of his breakthrough performance. "But the last 10, I kind of broke down, looking over at Tyson instead of just pumping through and keeping my form. I still think it's a great day. I made the team, second place. It's been a long year for me and I think that's pretty good."
The Junction City, Kan., native returns to the world stage after he also made Team USA in the 200 for last year's London Olympics, where he advanced to the semifinals.
It continues an impressive season for Young, which included him placing second in the 200 and third in the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. He also claimed his second straight SEC outdoor title in the 200 and was SEC runner-up in the 100. He was named the 2013 SEC Runner of the Year and 2013 South Region Track Athlete of the Year.
Young credited Ole Miss head coach Brian O'Neal's encouragement for his successful day.
"It feels good," he said. "My coach was telling me all year long that I was ready to do something special and he told me that, first of all, I needed to believe in myself to make that happen. I just came out here today, ran my race once again, got to the final. It was pretty impressive, but Coach (O'Neal) was calling it all year."
Young also made the final of the 100 meters in Des Moines and placed seventh with a 10.12 on Friday. He clocked a school-record and personal-best 9.93 during the semifinals.
Fellow Rebel and NCAA Champion Sam Kendricks competed in the pole vault on Friday and placed eighth with a mark of 17-10.5. He entered the national championships as the No. 2 seed with a season-best 19-0.75.
Former Rebels Brittney Reese and Antwon Hicks competed in the women's long jump and men's 110-meter hurdles, respectively. Neither placed in the top three, but Reese will still be a member of Team USA in Moscow by virtue of being the reigning World Champion in her event.
Three current Ole Miss athletes took part in the USA Junior Championships that were held in conjunction with the senior events this week.
Rising sophomore Onyi Afoaku produced a pair of personal bests in the junior division shot put and discus. The Bloomington, Ind., native placed fifth in the shot put with a 59-0.75 and seventh in the discus with a 183-5. He remains second-best in school history in both events after a strong freshman season.
Rising sophomore Hunter Harrison came in 15th place in the discus (164-5), and rising sophomore Ian Carter placed ninth in the 10,000 meters (33:01.92).
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games. Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more
Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more