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School-Record 14 Advance to NCAA Outdoors in Eugene after Historic Weekend

Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics

A school-record 14 qualifying entries will be heading to Eugene, Oregon, for the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships after Ole Miss athletes had a phenomenal weekend at the NCAA East Preliminary hosted by the University of North Florida.

Ole Miss produced six more qualifiers Saturday to go with the eight that had previously punched their ticket to the national meet through the first part of the weekend at Hodges Stadium.

The 14 total male and female qualifying entries exceeds the previous record of 13 set by the 2011 team. The nine men’s entries are second-most in school history behind the 1984 team’s total of 10. The five women’s entries are third-most in school history.

Head coach Brian O’Neal will send a school-record 17 total athletes to Eugene in 11 events. The 10 male athletes is also a school record. Of the 17 total athletes, only two are seniors, while there are six juniors, five sophomores and four freshmen.

The national meet will take place June 10-13 at historic Hayward Field in what has become known as Track Town USA.

“I’m tremendously proud of our athletes for their competitive spirit and poise displayed this weekend,” O’Neal said. “We approached this weekend with the thought process of performing at a high level and to advance to the final rounds of the NCAA Championships. The energy with which we competed allowed us to overcome some adverse situations. This team is resilient and fun to coach. They understand the nature of single-elimination rounds and embrace that we have to be at our absolute best during each round or the season is over.

“Now we’ll get a chance to go home and rest as we prepare for the next round. We look forward to our next challenge in Eugene.”

Every few minutes, it seemed Ole Miss gained a qualifier on Saturday. Here is the list:
Robert Domanic (1500m)
Trevor Gilley (1500m)
Robert Semien (110m hurdles)
Quintavius Burdette, Semien, Darryl Brown, Jalen Miller (4x100m relay)
Shannon Ray (200m)
Nicole Henderson, Ray, Khadijah Suleman, Breanna Tate (4x100m relay)

Rebels who had already qualified prior to Saturday:
– Miller (100m)
Craig Engels (800m)
Holland Sherrer (800m)
Branden Greene (high jump)
Adam Aguirre (high jump)
Brooke Feldmeier (800m)
Fabia McDonald (heptathlon)
Brittany Kelly (heptathlon)

Domanic and Gilley, both sophomores from the state of Texas, became the first Rebels in school history to make the NCAA Championship field in the 1,500 meters. Domanic ran the third-fastest qualifying time of 3:45.02, while Gilley was 12th-fastest in a personal-best 3:45.56. They will both be making their first appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Last fall, they helped the Ole Miss cross country team advance to its first NCAA Championship appearance.

The lone senior on the men’s side to qualify for Eugene was Robert Semien, who advanced in the 110-meter hurdles for the second straight year. The Houston, Texas, native’s time of 13.78 was seventh-best in the quarterfinals and only .05 of a second off his personal best from the recent SEC Championships.

Ole Miss qualified for Eugene in the 4×100-meter relay for the second straight year, as Quintavius Burdette, Semien, Darryl Brown and Jalen Miller ran 39.65 for the eighth-fastest qualifying time. It was only .03 of a second off their season best from the SEC meet that ranks them No. 3 in school history.

On the women’s side, the Ole Miss freshmen have been special all season, and Saturday was no different. Shannon Rayq qualified in the 200 meters with a huge personal-best time of 23.15, ninth-best in the quarterfinals. The New Orleans native moves up to No. 3 in school history.

Ray is the first Ole Miss qualifier in the women’s 200 meters since Willisa Heintz in 2002.

Freshmen Nicole Henderson and Ray ran the first two legs of the 4×100-meter relay team, handing the baton to Khadijah Suleman followed by Breanna Tate. The quartet raced to an amazing 43.89 for the fifth-fastest qualifying time and a spot in Eugene. They improve in their No. 2 slot in school history from the 44.35 they ran at SECs.

The Rebels qualified in the women’s 4×100-meter relay for the first time since 2011 and the seventh time in program history.

It was not all happy news for the Rebels on Saturday, as two more athletes came agonizingly close to berths to the national meet.

Senior Phillip Young tied for 12th in the triple jump with a mark of 51-2.25, but his second-best mark wasn’t as good and he lost out the tiebreaker to officially finish 13th, missing a berth by one spot. He had previously made NCAA Outdoors in the event twice.

Suleman placed 15th in the women’s 200 meters to just miss an individual berth to Eugene. She did run a personal best of 23.41, though, that ranks her fourth in school history.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissTrack, as well as Facebook and Instagram. And follow Coach O’Neal at @CoachBrianOneal.



100 Meter Quarterfinal
7. Jalen Miller — 10.35Q (EUGENE)

100 Meter First Round
6. Jalen Miller — 10.29Q

800 Meter Quarterfinal
3. Craig Engels — 1:47.16Q (EUGENE)
12. Holland Sherrer — 1:47.74q (EUGENE)

800 Meter First Round
8. Craig Engels — 1:48.39Q
10. Holland Sherrer — 1:48.49Q
31. Dameon Morgan — 1:49.33

1500 Meter Quarterfinals
3. Robert Domanic — 3:45.02Q (EUGENE)
12. Trevor Gilley — 3:45.56Q (EUGENE)

1500 Meter First Round
24. Trevor Gilley — 3:50.28Q
41. Robert Domanic — 4:00.98Q
45. Sean Tobin — 4:03.15

5000 Meter First Round
42. Trevor Gilley — 15:09.01

110 Meter Hurdle Quarterfinals
7. Robert Semien — 13.78q (EUGENE)

110 Meter Hurdle First Round
22. Robert Semien — 13.99q

4×100 Meter Relay First Round
8. Ole Miss (Burdette, Semien, Brown, Miller) — 39.65Q (EUGENE)

High Jump First Round
T1. Branden Greene — 2.13m/6-11.75Q (EUGENE)
12. Adam Aguirre — 2.09m/6-10.25q (EUGENE)

Long Jump First Round
38. Phillip Young — 6.98m/22-10.75

Triple Jump First Round
13. Phillip Young — 15.60m/51-2.25

Discus First Round
35. Kevin Conway — 51.85m/170-1

Hammer Throw First Round
13. Dempsey McGuigan — 64.37m/211-2
30. Nathan Loe — 60.49m/198-5
36. Kevin Conway — 59.37m/194-9


100 Meter Quarterfinal
14. Shannon Ray — 11.56
20. Khadijah Suleman — 11.65

100 Meter First Round
6. Shannon Ray — 11.51Q
17. Khadijah Suleman — 11.61q

200 Meter Quarterfinals
9. Shannon Ray — 23.15Q (EUGENE)
15. Khadijah Suleman — 23.41

200 Meter First Round
20. Khadijah Suleman — 23.62q
22. Shannon Ray — 23.65q
39. Nicole Henderson — 24.07

800 Meter Quarterfinal
3. Brooke Feldmeier — 2:03.13Q (SR) (EUGENE)

800 Meter First Round
19. Brooke Feldmeier — 2:06.34Q

10,000 Meter First Round
34. Mary Alex England — 35:50.63

4×100 Meter Relay First Round
5. Ole Miss (Henderson, Ray, Suleman, B. Tate) — 43.89Q (EUGENE)

4×400 Meter Relay First Round
22. Ole Miss (Alexander, D. Tate, Mattix, Feldmeier) — 3:37.80

High Jump First Round
31. Brittany Kelly — 1.70m/5-7

Long Jump First Round
14. Kierra White — 6.04m/19-9.75
18. Fabia McDonald — 5.99m/19-8

Courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

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