KAZAN, Russia - Ole Miss athlete Sam Kendricks captured a gold medal in the men's pole vault Thursday at the 27th World University Games, capping off his incredible sophomore season in a big way.
Kendricks adds the title of World University champion to his name just over a month after he was crowned NCAA champion in Eugene, Ore.
The Oxford, Miss., native out-dueled 10 other elite collegiate vaulters in front of a large and vocal Russian crowd, ending in a final showdown with Japan's Seito Yamamoto that went down to the wire.
Kendricks cleared every bar on the first attempt from his opening height of 5.0 meters (16-4.75) through 5.60 meters (18-4.5) to lead the competition. Yamamoto was the only other man to clear 18-4.5, doing so on his third and final attempt at that height. Both men missed all three tries at 18-8.25, giving Kendricks the nail-biting victory.
It was the eighth time in 11 outdoor meets this year that Kendricks has cleared at least 18 feet, while it marked his seventh outright victory. He was invited to join Team USA at the World University Games after narrowly missing a spot on the American team for the World Championships.
Athletes eligible for the World University Games include those born between 1985 and 1995, have taken at least one three-credit course toward a degree or diploma in the last year and have met the 2013 WUG qualifying standard.
Kendricks still ranks ninth in the world this year with a school-record mark of 19-0.75 that he set at the Texas Relays on March 29. It was the best vault in the NCAA since 1998 and placed Kendricks fifth-best in collegiate history.
He is the latest in a long line of Ole Miss Rebels that have represented Team USA at international track & field competitions. That list includes Olympic gold medalist Brittney Reese, as well as such standouts as Isiah Young, Mike Granger, Savante' Stringfellow, George Kersh and Clarence Daniel.
Next month, former Rebel stars Reese and Young will compete for Team USA at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Reese will take part in the women's long jump, while Young will run the men's 200 meters - events in which they both also competed at last year's London Olympics.
Sam Smith posted his eighth straight quality start, but it was not enough, as LSU shut out Ole Miss 2-0 Saturday afternoon to take the three-game series. It was the first time that the Rebels had been shutout since a... read more
LSU looked to have gotten out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but right fielder Mark Laird dropped a fly ball in foul territory that would have been the final out and send the game to the fifth down... read more
For eight innings, Chris Ellis dueled Aaron Nola, the Southeastern Conference's leader in strikeouts (84) and earned run average (0.70) to a draw, as he left with the game with the score tied at 2-2. It was the eighth time... read more
Two new mock drafts released this week has former wide receiver Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief being selected in the late second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, set for May 8-10. NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks projects Moncrief... read more
With Billy Chadwick's last regular season in the books, the Rebels seem to be peeking and hoping to make a final postseason run for the legendary head coach. Corresponding with such, we are also getting down to our final stretch... read more
One spot in the ITA national rankings can make all the difference. Last season, San Diego, ranked No. 44 in the country, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while crosstown rival, San Diego State, ranked No. 45, was... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 7-13, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss improved to 29-9 on the season and 9-6 in Southeastern Conference play after a pair of nonconference wins over Memphis and Murray State in the midweek and a series win... read more
Coming off a disappointing 6-5 loss in 10 innings Saturday, Ole Miss bounced back with a dominant 12-2 win Sunday to take the weekend series against Mississippi State in Starkville. At the plate, the Rebels set season high for runs... read more
Ole Miss struck early with five runs over the first four innings, which Chris Ellis and Wyatt Short made hold up in a 6-1 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Dudy Noble Field. The leadoff man for Mississippi State... read more