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Record-Setting Day for Ole Miss Women at NCAA Outdoors

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

The Ole Miss women had a record-setting day at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday at historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

The 4×100-meter relay squad of Nicole Henderson, Shannon Ray, Khadijah Suleman and Jhorden Hunter, who have been sensational all season long, made history on Thursday. They became the school’s first 4×100 squad ever to advance to an NCAA final by finishing seventh in the semifinals with a time of 44.10.

The 4×100 final will take place Saturday at 4:05 p.m. CT on ESPN2. The Rebels’ unit, which is made up of two freshmen (Henderson and Ray), a junior (Suleman) and a senior (Hunter), already owns a school record with a time of 43.80 earlier this year at LSU.

Senior Fabia McDonald capped her phenomenal Ole Miss career in grand fashion, breaking her own school record in the heptathlon. Her score of 5,757 placed her 13th in the competition, the best ever by an Ole Miss heptathlete, and good enough for her to garner second team All-America status. The Middletown, Ohio, native exceeded her previous record of 5,736 from earlier this year and will conclude her collegiate career as a two-time All-American.

Freshmen make up four of the seven Ole Miss female athletes competing in Eugene, showing that the future is bright for head coach Brian O’Neal’s squad.

Ray, who ran the second leg of the relay, also competed in the semifinals of the 200 meters, where she placed 15th with a wind-aided (+4.6) time of 23.03. She will earn second team All-America distinction for that result, which was the best by a Rebel woman in the 200 since Teneeshia Jones was 13th in 2001.

Freshman Brooke Feldmeier, the SEC champion in the 800 meters, was unable to recapture that magic as she finished 23rd Thursday with a time of 2:13.65. In her amazing first season in the Red and Blue, Feldmeier was indoor and outdoor SEC Women’s Freshman Runner of the Year, first team indoor All-American, indoor SEC runner-up and outdoor SEC champion.

Freshman Brittany Kelly placed 21st in the heptathlon with a score of 5,394 after she totaled 5,531 at the SEC Championships to qualify for Eugene. Among her efforts in Eugene, she clocked a personal-best 13.65 in the 100-meter hurdles (fastest ever by an Ole Miss heptathlete) and a personal-best 24.43 in the 200 meters.

Men’s high jumpers Adam Aguirre and Branden Greene will be in action Friday, followed by the women’s 4×100 relay Saturday.

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.

Remaining Ole Miss events at the NCAA Championships (all times Central)
Fri 6:00 p.m. — M-High Jump Final (Adam Aguirre, Branden Greene), ESPN3
Sat 4:05 p.m. — W-4x100m Relay Final, ESPN2


200 Meter Semifinals
15. Shannon Ray — 23.03

800 Meter Semifinals
23. Brooke Feldmeier — 2:13.65

4×100 Meter Relay Semifinals
7. Ole Miss (Henderson, Ray, Suleman, Hunter) — 44.10q

13. Fabia McDonald — 5,757 (SR)
21. Brittany Kelly — 5,394

Courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

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