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.
Ole Miss meets Mississippi State on the hardwood the for 250th time Wednesday, which makes it the most-played rivalry in the Southeastern Conference. Like the rivalry in football, where the road team last won in 2010, the home team has... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more
Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more
Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more
Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more
Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more
After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more
Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more
Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more