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Close Calls for Rebels on Day One of NCAA Outdoors

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

It was a day of close calls for Ole Miss on the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at historic Hayward Field on Wednesday.

The Rebels had seven entries in men’s semifinal events, with a pair of sophomores coming up heartbreakingly short of a spot in Friday’s finals.

In the 800 meters, Craig Engels had to finish top two in his heat to automatically advance to the eight-man final. The Pfafftown, North Carolina, native was running second for most of the race until the final couple of strides, when he fell to third on the lean. His clocking of 1:47.33, which was eighth-fastest overall, ended up being .04 of a second from advancing to the final on time.

Robert Domanic had a similar fate in the 1500 meter semifinals. Needing to place fifth in his heat to automatically advance, he crossed the line sixth, only .05 of a second from advancing. The Lewisville, Texas, native posted the 15th-fastest time overall of 3:46.27, despite being stepped on from behind about three-fourths of the way through the race.

Both Engels and Domanic will earn second team All-America honors by placing top 16 in their events. It’s the first All-America honors for both sophomores, and Domanic will become the first Ole Miss man to ever be an All-American in the 1500.

Jalen Miller, the SEC runner-up in the 100 and an indoor All-American and SEC champion in the 60 earlier this year, ran 10.22 Wednesday to finish with the 16th-best time of the semifinals. The sophomore from Tunica, Mississippi, will be able to claim outdoor All-America accolades for the first time in his young career.

Although the new format this year is to alternate days for men’s and women’s competition, the women’s heptathlon also began Wednesday, including Rebel senior Fabia McDonald and freshman Brittany Kelly. After the first four events, McDonald is in 19th place with 3,349 points and Kelly is 20th with 3,336.

Within the heptathlon, McDonald posted a season-best time of 14.01 in the 100-meter hurdles and had near PRs in the shot put (12.23m/40-1.5) and 200 meters (25.36). Kelly recorded a PR of 13.65 in the hurdles, which is the best by a heptathlete in Ole Miss history, and also had a PR of 24.43 in the 200.

Thursday’s events will include the final three stages of the heptathlon, as well as the women’s 4×100 relay, Shannon Ray in the 200 and Brooke Feldmeier in the 800.

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

Remaining Ole Miss events at the NCAA Championships (all times Central)
Thu 2:00 p.m. — W-Heptathlon (Brittany Kelly, Fabia McDonald), ESPN3
Thu 6:00 p.m. — W-4x100m Relay (Nicole Henderson, Shannon Ray, Khadijah Suleman, Breanna Tate), ESPNU
Thu 7:44 p.m. — W-800m (Brooke Feldmeier), ESPN
Thu 8:14 p.m. — W-200m (Shannon Ray), ESPN
Fri 6:00 p.m. — M-High Jump Final (Adam Aguirre, Branden Greene), ESPN3
Sat 4:05 p.m. — W-4x100m Relay Final, ESPN2
Sat 5:20 p.m. — W-800m Final, ESPN2
Sat 5:40 p.m. — W-200m Final, ESPN2



100 Meter Semifinals
16. Jalen Miller — 10.22

800 Meter Semifinals
8. Craig Engels — 1:47.33
24. Holland Sherrer — 1:52.98

1500 Meter Semifinals
15. Robert Domanic — 3:46.27
18. Trevor Gilley — 3:46.93

110 Meter Hurdle Semifinals
20. Robert Semien — 13.89

4×100 Meter Relay Semifinals
20. Ole Miss (Burdette, Semien, Brown, Miller) — 41.00


Heptathlon (Day 1 — first 4 events)
19. Fabia McDonald — 3349
20. Brittany Kelly — 3336

Courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

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