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Kendricks National Title Headlines Past, Present Rebels at USATF

Sam Kendricks Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy/ Ole Miss Athletics
Sam Kendricks Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy/ Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss was well represented at the 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships over the weekend, with eight current or former Rebels competing alongside the best Americans in pursuit of national championships and Team USA berths to the Beijing World Championships.

One former Rebel, Oxford native Sam Kendricks, claimed a U.S. title in dominating fashion, winning the pole vault with a victorious height of 5.75m/18-10.25, almost half a foot better than the second place finisher. This was the second straight U.S. Outdoor title for Kendricks, a former two-time NCAA champion, and his third national title overall after also winning the pole vault at the 2015 USATF Indoor Championships. He will represent the United States in Beijing at the end of August.

“I’ve never done anything like this in my entire life,” Kendricks said after making the world championship team. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do – compete for my country.”

Another former Rebel, Isiah Young, was nearly as impressive, as he turned in a silver medal in the 200 meters (19.93) and a fourth-place result in the 100 (10.00). The former SEC champion and NCAA runner-up makes Team USA in the 200 meters for the third time in his career, which includes the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 Moscow World Championships.

As the defending world champion in the women’s long jump, Brittney Reese has an automatic spot in Beijing, but she competed in Eugene anyway and came away with a silver medal on a jump of 6.97m/22-10.5. In her illustrious career, Reese is a five-time world champion, one-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time USA champion.

The fourth former Rebel to compete in Eugene was high jumper Ricky Robertson, who placed seventh with a clearance at 2.25m/7-4.5. He was runner-up earlier this year at the USATF Indoor Championships.

Four current Rebels competed at the national championships, all for the first time in their careers.

Sophomore Craig Engels and junior Holland Sherrer ran the 800 meters. Engels ran the 16th-best time in the prelims (1:48.56), while Sherrer was 20th (1:48.83). Engels was one spot out of advancing to the semifinals.

Sophomore Jalen Miller finished 25th in the 100 meters with a time of 10.19, .07 of a second off his personal best of 10.12 that placed him runner-up at this year’s SEC Championships.

Freshman Shannon Ray capped her fine rookie season by running in the women’s 200 meter prelims, where she placed 24th in 23.59.

Fellow women’s freshman Brooke Feldmeier also competed in Eugene at the USATF Junior Championships, which ran concurrently with the senior nationals. Feldmeier advanced to the final in the 800 meters (the distance at which she won the SEC this year) and placed fifth in 2:10.57. Her prelim time was 2:09.71.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissTrack, as well as Facebook and Instagram.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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