Saturday, December 3, 2022

HottyToddy.com Sports Round Up: June 9-15

This weekly Round Up highlights Ole Miss sports for the week of June 9 – 15.

Track and Field

Sam Kendricks after his victorious vault (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Sam Kendricks after his victorious vault (photo by Joshua McCoy)

Ole Miss’ Sam Kendricks Claims Second NCAA Title
Ole Miss junior Sam Kendricks won his second straight NCAA outdoor pole vault on Wednesday, but it wasn’t easy.
Kendricks had a couple of clutch clearances late in the competition to overcome Akron’s Shawn Barber on the first day of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships in front of 9,165 enthusiastic fans at historic Hayward Field in Track Town USA.
A native of Oxford, Mississippi, Kendricks becomes the first back-to-back NCAA outdoor champion for the Rebels since Savante’ Stringfellow won long jump titles in 2000 and 2001. He’s the first back-to-back NCAA outdoor pole vault champ since Oregon’s Tommy Skipper in 2006 and 2007.
Barber and Tennessee’s Jake Blankeship were the leaders through 18-2.5, which was the last height that Blankenship cleared. Kendricks came through in a big way on his third and final attempt at 18-4.5 when he brushed the bar, but it held steady. Then Barber cleared 18-6.5 and Kendricks missed, setting up a fantastic finale that saw Kendricks jump up to 18-8.25, which Barber couldn’t match.
“The reward for me came from all the guys I jumped against today,” Kendricks said afterward. “Those guys have worked hard their whole lives, just like I have. And they wanted me to make that bar as much as they wanted to make it themselves. So it was very rewarding to know they worked their hardest and I came out on top among friends. And that’s what made it a lot of fun.”
It was another great duel between the top American collegian (Kendricks) and the top Canadian collegian (Barber). Barber won the duel at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships when he set a Canadian national record, while Kendricks was second with the same height that he cleared to win on Wednesday.
Ole Miss also competed in the 4×100 meter relay semifinals on Wednesday and placed 20th in 40.05 to end its season. The school-record holding quartet of Mike Granger, Jalen Miller, Creighton Serrette and Kailo Moore were in the top three for most of their race (top two in each heat advanced to the final), but couldn’t finish it out among a very fast field of teams.
“What a day,” head coach Brian O’Neal said. “Great job by Sam. During our team meeting last night, we talked about the things we needed to do this week to be successful. We reminded the team that what makes the NCAA Championships special is everyone will be at their best. Each competitor has worked hard all season long and it comes down to the athlete that can focus on the task at hand, and Sam did just that.
“I can’t say enough about how proud we are of Sam. It’s great to see the bond that he shares with Coach Kendricks and the confidence they have in each other. Each week we’ve asked Sam to go out and provide a spark for this team. Week in and week out that’s exactly what he’s done. That was 10 big points for us. Now we have to continue to build on this as we move on to day two tomorrow and another opportunity for us to advance.”
Ole Miss gets 10 team points for Kendricks’ victory, which has them in third place overall after day one of four.
“Knowing that my team’s eyes are on me wherever they may be in the country gives me an edge,” Kendricks added. “Knowing that there are eight other athletes form Ole Miss here as well, that makes it special.”
Next up for the Rebels is junior Robert Semien in the 110-meter hurdle semifinals on Thursday. Junior Phillip Young will compete in the triple jump on Saturday.
AGATE
4×100 Meter Relay Semifinals
20. Ole Miss (Granger, Miller, Serrette, Moore) – 40.05
Pole Vault
1. Sam Kendricks – 18-8.25 (10 points)
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Ricky Robertson Named Region Athlete of the Year
Ricky Robertson (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Ricky Robertson (photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)

Ole Miss senior Ricky Robertson brought home another postseason award this week when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its regional honors.
Robertson was voted the South Region Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year by the region coaches after his outstanding final season in the Red and Blue.
A fifth-year senior from Hernando, Mississippi, Robertson was previously named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year following a regular season that saw him ranked in the top two nationally in both the high jump and the triple jump. He won the SEC high jump title, finished runner-up in the triple jump and was fourth in the long jump to earn the SEC Commissioner’s Trophy as the high-point scorer at the SEC Championships.
This is the second region award of Robertson’s career. He was named the 2012 South Region Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, as well.
Robertson, who did not advance to this week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships after trying to battle through a hamstring injury at the East Preliminary, finishes his career as one of the most decorated athletes in Ole Miss history. A seven-time All-American, seven-time SEC Champion and two-time SEC Athlete of the Year during his five seasons, he is the only athlete in league history to claim seven high jump titles.
 – Ole Miss Athletics
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Ole Miss Goes West for NCAA Outdoor Championships
Phillip Young (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Phillip Young (photo by Joshua McCoy)

The No. 21 Ole Miss men will send seven athletes to Eugene, Oregon, this Wednesday-Saturday for the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The seven Rebels will compete in four different events in Eugene, which is known as “Track Town USA” for its obsession with the sport. The NCAA finals are being hosted by the University of Oregon at historic Hayward Field for the 12th time (since 1962).
The meet will be broadcast on ESPN3 and ESPNU. Late after¬¬noon and evening sessions on Friday and Saturday will air on ESPNU, while the evening sessions on Wednesday and Thursday will be on ESPN3.
“We’re excited to be competing in the national championships,” said second-year head coachBrian O’Neal. “This is what we’ve trained for all season, to have a chance to represent Ole Miss at the highest level and compete against the best of the best. Our young men are prepared to leave it all on the track for the next four days.”
Defending NCAA outdoor pole vault champion Sam Kendricks headlines the Ole Miss contingent, which is the team’s largest group of men to make the NCAA finals since 2011. The Oxford, Mississippi, native was the top qualifier at the NCAA East Preliminary and ranks first in the NCAA and fifth in the world this season with a best of 18-8.25/5.70m at the Texas Relays (March 26). He will try to become the first back-to-back outdoor pole vault champion since Oregon’s Tommy Skipper in 2006-07 and the Rebels’ first back-to-back NCAA outdoor champion since Savante’ Stringfellow in the long jump in 2000 and 2001.
This is Kendricks’ third appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and fifth overall NCAA finals berth. He was the indoor national runner-up earlier this year and claimed both the indoor and outdoor SEC titles in 2014.
Junior Phillip Young will compete in the triple jump in Eugene. He is the 11th seed in the field of 24 after jumping 52-0.75/15.87m at the East Preliminary. The Key West, Florida, native ranks seventh in the country this year with a season-best 52-10.25/16.11m at the LSU Invitational (May 3) and placed third at the SEC Outdoor Championships in Lexington, Kentucky.
Young is making his first NCAA appearance as a Rebel and fifth overall (four as a member of Florida State’s team). His best NCAA finish in the triple jump was a sixth-place result at the 2012 indoor meet.
The 4×100-meter relay quartet of senior Mike Granger, freshman Jalen Miller, senior Creighton Serrette and freshman Kailo Moore are the Rebels’ first 4×100 relay squad to make the NCAA finals since 2002. They shattered the school record with their time of 39.34 at the East Preliminary, which makes them the ninth seed in Eugene.
Granger is making his second career appearance at the NCAA outdoor meet, while Miller, Serrette and Moore all make it for the first time. Miller was a first team All-American earlier this year at the NCAA indoor meet, while Granger has also competed at three prior NCAA indoor meets.
Junior Robert Semien is making his NCAA finals debut, competing in the 110-meter hurdles. The Houston, Texas, native clocked a personal-best 13.80 at the East Preliminary to advance to Eugene. He is Ole Miss’ first 110-meter hurdler to make the NCAA outdoor meet since the late John Yarbrough in 2007.
Ole Miss will try to build off last year’s all-time best eighth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Rebel men were 24th at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships and have finished top 25 in all three NCAA finals under O’Neal.
“The city of Eugene and the University of Oregon are great hosts for this event. They really love having the NCAA Championships there, and everyone you meet around town is a track fan. The facilities are first class, and the atmosphere is great for competition. It’s a great experience for our young men to be there.”
Below is a schedule of events with Ole Miss athletes and the start times for those events.
Wednesday – 4×100 Relay (semifinal), 2 pm CT (ESPN3) Wednesday – Sam Kendricks (pole vault final), 6 pm CT (ESPN3) Thursday – Robert Semien (110m hurdle semifinal), 3:05 pm CT (ESPN3) Saturday – Phillip Young (triple jump final), 10:30 am CT (ESPNU) Saturday – 4×100 Relay (final – if they advance), 1:03 pm CT (ESPNU) Saturday – Robert Semien (110m hurdle final – if he advances), 1:12 pm CT (ESPNU)
– Ole Miss Athletics
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Ole Miss Has Successful Spring in Classroom
Johan Backstrom Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
Johan Backstrom Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

While the Ole Miss baseball team prepares for the College World Series in Omaha and members of the track and field team get ready to compete in the NCAA Championships this weekend in Oregon, it was another successful spring in the classroom for the Rebels with 172 student-athletes making one of three honor rolls. In addition, 60 student-athletes earned their degrees.
Forty-six percent of the student-athlete population made a 3.0 or higher grade point average, while 20 recorded a perfect 4.0.  Soccer led the way with a 3.60 team grade point average and men’s golf had the highest among men’s sports with a 3.45.
“Our student-athletes have achieved the highest overall GPA for fall and spring combined in recorded history,” said senior associate athletics director Derek Cowherd. “This includes over 10 years of grade data.  We are so very proud of their success but know we have some room to grow.  Our academic programs on this campus are highly competitive as are our students.”
Football had 11 graduates, three of which earned their master’s degrees, including Tyler Campbell and Andrew Ritter.
Soccer had an outstanding year on and off the pitch. In addition to hosting the first round of the NCAA Championships, senior Rafaelle Souza was named a Capital One Academic All-American and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Men’s golf had nine of 10 players make a 3.00 GPA or better, including another 4.0 from Forrest Gamble, who made the Capital One Academic All-District VI Team. This past spring, he was inducted to the Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Societies. Women’s golf boasted four players with a 4.00 GPA, including Stani Schiavone, who was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and Taylor Medalist Kathryn Fowler, who graduated with honors.
The entire women’s tennis team (3.47) finished with a 3.00 or better for the second consecutive semester, including Caroline Rohde-Moe, who posted a 4.00 for the fourth straight semester, and was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team. She graduated with honors in Managerial Finance and Economics and received a Taylor Medal, while helping lead the Rebels to their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance.
Men’s tennis posted a 3.30 cumulative GPA led by Capital One Academic All-All-American Johan Backstrom, who recorded a 4.0 and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He helped lead the Rebels to their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance and clinched the first round win over Northwestern.
While winning the SEC West and advancing to the CWS for the first time under head coach Mike Bianco, the diamond Rebels posted another solid semester in the classroom led by graduates Will Allen, Austin Blunt, John Gatlin and Jeremy Massie.
Men’s basketball notched its highest team GPA in recorded history with eight players earning personal best GPAs. Dwight Coleby, who played in 28 games for the Rebels, posted a 3.94, while Ladarius White had a 3.57 and Jarvis Summers a 3.34.
On the women’s basketball team, two-time All-SEC honoree Valencia McFarland graduated with a 3.16, while Gracie Frizzell posted a 3.70 this past spring.
Rifle had five of eight players on the honor roll, including freshman Ali Weisz. Weisz had an all-around successful year, becoming the first freshman to earn GARC All-Conference honors and qualify for the NCAA Championships in addition to posting a cumulative GPA of 3.84.
Women’s track and field had 25 make the honor roll, which is the highest number for the team for the second straight semester. The men placed 17 on the honor roll, including three with a 4.00.
Eight members of the volleyball team made the honor roll including Aubrey Edie, Rachael McLamore and Melanie Crow on the Chancellor’s honor roll. The Rebels just returned from an 11-day trip to Europe where they finished 6-1 in matches and explored different cultures.
Ten players from softball achieved academic success, including NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes Allison Brown, Alyssa Invergo and Londen Ladner.
– Ole Miss Sports Information
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Men’s Tennis
Scholtz Wins Second Futures Singles Title
Nik Scholtz Photo courtesy of OleMisssports.com
Nik Scholtz
Photo courtesy of OleMisssports.com

Ole Miss men’s tennis player Nik Scholtz had an outstanding year for the Rebels, and Saturday he added to an already fine year in his home country of South Africa. A day after winning the doubles title at the ITF Sun City Futures with fellow Rebel and good friend Tucker Vorster, Scholtz defeated Vorster in straight sets to capture the singles title.
Scholtz, the SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-American, took the title in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
The first break of serve came in the fifth game of the opening set and Scholtz held the lead to take the first set 6-4. In the second set Scholtz broke Vorster in the first game. At 3-5 down, Vorster was serving to stay in the match but Scholtz was solid on the return and broke Vorster to clinch the set 6-3, and the championship.
“It was one of those days everything I tried worked for me,” said Scholtz following victory. “I was anticipating Tucker’s serves well. I guessed and played the big points well too, that made the difference.”
His path to the singles title was a bit more difficult than he would have liked, with a couple of early round three-setters.
Scholtz jetted into South Africa late last week from the United States after reaching the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship.
“Flying in from America was tough as I had to adapt to the high altitude and winter conditions. But as the tournament got longer I played better,” he said.
On Friday, Scholtz and Vorster (played for the Rebels from 2008-11) teamed up to defeat Mark Fynn (Zimbabwe) and Damon Gooch (South Africa) 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles final. The pair did not drop a set in any of their matches on the way to their third title together. Scholtz and Vorster won two titles in Turkey last summer.
Back in January, Scholtz helped lead South Africa to a Davis Cup win over Monoco with a big singles victory.  Just as they were back then, his parents were on hand to cheer him on in Sun City. They flew in from Greytown near the Western Cape.
– Ole Miss Sports

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