OXFORD, Miss. - Following a 2010 season that saw Ole Miss Cross Country achieve some of the best results in school history, the Rebel men and women look to carry that momentum into a promising 2011 campaign.
Ole Miss' collection of long-distance runners reported to campus on Aug. 16 and has looked good according to track and field associate head coach Doug Blackwell, who oversees the cross country teams.
The teams continue to prepare for their season debut at the Memphis Twilight Classic on Sept. 3 in Memphis, Tenn.
"Everybody's looking pretty good," Blackwell said. "We only have a couple of people with some nagging things. We get back the core group of women from last year when we had one of our best years but were really young. We add some new people who should come in and put some pressure on the returnees, so we're in really good shape on the women's side. We take a big loss on the men's side with Barnabas Kirui, but we expect the other men to step up and give us a solid team this year."
Senior Logan Waites and junior Katie Breathitt will lead the women's team in 2011. Waites was the top finisher at every meet for the Rebels a year ago and earned the highest SEC finish by a female in school history when she took 16th place. Breathitt made an immediate impact in her first ever attempt at competitive running (she was previously a member of the Ole Miss soccer team for two years). She took 29th place at the SEC Championships.
Between the two, they hold the majority of the Ole Miss long-distance records in indoor and outdoor track, as well as cross country.
"Logan and Katie both have the chance to finish among the top 10 or 15 at SECs, which would be higher than anyone here before," Blackwell said.
"We're looking forward to our best year ever in women's cross country," Blackwell said.
The Rebel men lose three-time SEC Cross Country champion Barnabas Kirui, who became only the fourth runner in league history to earn that distinction last year. He helped Ole Miss place fifth in the conference a year ago, the team's highest since 1996.
The Rebels return a pair of talented Kenyans, however, in senior Martin Kirui (Barnabas' brother) and sophomore Kipchirchir Kiptoo. Martin Kirui was an All-SEC second team and All-South Regional honoree last year. The former SEC steeplechase champion placed 14th at the SEC Championships and 18th at the NCAA South Regional and was Ole Miss' second finisher at every meet. Kiptoo earned SEC All-Freshman accolades after his 25th-place showing at the SECs.
"If Martin steps up to plate, he could finish in the top one, two or three in the conference," Blackwell said. "Kipchirchir had a good freshman year, and we're expecting him to do even better this season."
Other returnees who have had good offseasons and will be counted on in 2011 include sophomore Loren Newsom and junior Riley Young. Several more will compete for a spot in the top five.
In a poll released by the league office this week, the SEC Coaches picked Ole Miss to finish eighth in men's and women's this year.
NFL Scouting Combine participants Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt are among 18 former Ole Miss players expected to go through Pro Day workouts in hopes of realizing their professional football dreams. More than 25 representatives from 22 different teams were... read more
The Ole Miss women's basketball team heads to the 2015 SEC Tournament in Little Rock, Arkansas, having won three of its last four games to finish the regular season with a 17-12 overall and 7-9 SEC record and earn the... read more
Ole Miss welcomes back seven starters from the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, but two of those starters, seniors C.J. Johnson and Mike Hilton, will be starting the spring at different positions, with Johnson at Mike linebacker and Hilton at... read more
Ole Miss began spring practice Tuesday, and for the first time under head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels will have a starting quarterback not named Bo Wallace. With the graduation of Wallace, sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade, as well... read more
The Southeastern Conference announced today Kickoff '15, its annual football media days, will be held July 13-16, remaining at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. The event will continue to be four days in 2015. The... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2015Track & Field - Ole Miss got SEC titles from Jalen Miller (60m), Daniel Bulmer (mile) and the distance medley relay, and the Rebels achieved their best SEC indoor finish since 1984.... read more
The calendar turned to March, as the men's and women's basketball teams march toward the SEC Tournament and postseason play. The baseball team faced perhaps its biggest challenge of nonconference play. The softball and men's tennis teams each had another... read more
The numbers and bracket projections may not be in his favor at this point, but head women's basketball coach Matt Insell is selling the NCAA Tournament selection committee on his team passing the eye test, as Ole Miss enters its... read more
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With an opportunity to perhaps lock itself into the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least enhance its resume, Ole Miss lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling on the road at LSU... read more
Despite the most recent home loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, Ole Miss remains a team projected to be solidly in the field, as the Rebels put their school record four-game SEC road winning streak on the line when they... read more
Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more
If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more
The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more