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Reese, Kendricks Make Team USA with Huge Trials Performances

Two of the best athletes to ever wear an Ole Miss uniform, Sam Kendricks and Brittney Reese, have made their mark on the global track & field world over the past few years. During the first half of the U.S. Olympic Trials at historic Hayward Field, they emphatically qualified for Team USA to compete at the Rio Olympics next month.

On Monday, Kendricks earned a spot on his first Olympic team by setting a U.S. Olympic Trials record in the pole vault with his winning clearance at 5.91m/19-4.75. Only he and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie (France) have jumped higher this year. Kendricks, who hails from Oxford, defeated the No. 2 finisher in Eugene by nearly a foot.

Kendricks is the eighth member of the Ole Miss track & field family to qualify for the Olympic Games. Others include Allan Ince (1988, Barbados), Gary Kinder (1988, USA), Alvin Haynes (1992, Barbados), Tony Dees (1992, USA), Savante’ Stringfellow (2000, USA), Reese (2008, 2012, 2016, USA) and Isiah Young (2012, USA).

Reese proved once again that she is the dominant women’s long jump force in the world. On Saturday, Reese soared through the air for the longest jump in the world since 2004 with a personal-best mark of 7.31m/23-11.75 that also broke the U.S. trials record. She is now No. 2 in U.S. history and ranks ninth all-time in the world.

A native of Gulfport, Mississippi, Reese is the only Rebel to have qualified for more than one Olympic Games in track & field. She will be making her third appearance at the Olympics and will look to defend her gold medal from the 2012 London Games.

Several other Rebels have performed well in Eugene over the first half of the trials.

On Monday, junior Craig Engels placed fourth in the final of the men’s 800 meters, clocking a personal-best 1:46.03 that ranks him No. 2 in school history. He was one spot out of contention for a spot in Rio.

Fellow junior MJ Erb ran 8:37.60 in the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, which was good enough to advance to the event final, which will take place Thursday.

Former Rebel Isiah Young made it into the 100-meter semifinals on Sunday but did not advance to the final. He will have another shot to make Team USA in the 200 meters, which begins Thursday.

After a day off on Tuesday, the trials resume Wednesday. Full schedule of Ole Miss family of athletes is below.

Wednesday, July 6

1:00 pm PT – W Hammer Throw Qualifying – Gwen Berry, Jeneva Stevens, Jessica Ramsey

3:00 pm PT – W Hammer Throw Final – Gwen Berry, Jeneva Stevens, Jessica Ramsey (if qualified)

Thursday, July 7

11:00 am PT – W Shot Put Qualifying – Raven Saunders, Jeneva Stevens, Jessica Ramsey

5:30 pm PT – M 200m 1st Round – Isiah Young

6:00 pm PT – M Discus Qualifying – Brian Williams

6:15 pm PT – W Shot Put Final – Raven Saunders, Jeneva Stevens, Jessica Ramsey (if qualified) (NBCSN | Web Stream)

7:21 pm PT – M 1500m 1st Round – Isaac Presson

Friday, July 8

3:30 pm PT – M Discus Final – Brian Williams (if qualified) (NBCSN | Web Stream)

4:00 pm PT – M High Jump Qualifying – Ricky Robertson

4:12 pm PT – M 1500m Semifinals – Isaac Presson (if qualified) (NBCSN)

5:23 pm PT – M Steeplechase Final – MJ Erb (NBC | Web Stream)

5:37 pm PT – M 200m Semifinals – Isiah Young (if qualified)

Saturday, July 9

5:42 pm PT – M 200m Final – Isiah Young (if qualified) (NBC | Web Stream)

Sunday, July 10

3:00 pm PT – M High Jump Final – Ricky Robertson (if qualified)

5:20 pm PT – M 1500m Final – Isaac Presson (if qualified) (NBC | Web Stream)

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 Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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