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Ole Miss Sweeps 1500-Meter at Sunny Conclusion to 2022 SEC Outdoor Championships 

Ole Miss track & field capped off an extraordinary weekend of festivities as the host of the 2022 SEC Outdoor Championships with a historic sweep in the 1500-meter races from All-Americans Sintayehu Vissa and Mario Garcia Romo on a gorgeous Saturday at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex.

The sunshine was a welcome sign from the storm-streaked first two days of competition, and the student-athletes of the SEC did not disappoint as 14 facility records came tumbling down alongside five meet records, three NCAA leads and a collegiate record from the Kentucky women’s 4×400-meter relay (3:21.93). In total, 21 of the 42 possible Ole Miss Track & Field Complex records in the standard events were reset this weekend – some multiple times – with additional others being negated due to slightly higher winds during the turbulent first two days.

In the team standings, No. 3 Florida held off a late charge from No. 5 Arkansas to win a thrilling women’s competition, 107-103, that came down to the final event of the evening, the 4×400-meter relay. Likewise on the men’s side, as No. 18 Arkansas was able to edge out No. 2 Alabama, 121-116, at the close of competition thanks to a massive point haul in the 5K.

The No. 20 Rebel women, meanwhile, tied for their second-highest SEC Outdoor finish in program history with a sixth-place showing at 72 points – which also stands as the second-most points ever scored by the Ole Miss women outdoors.

The highlight of the day for the women was an exhilarating victory by All-American Sintayehu Vissa down a packed grandstand as she turned on the jets toward the finish line, obliterating her previous school record by nearly eight seconds to set the NCAA lead this season at 4:08.72 to win the first-ever women’s 1500-meter title in Ole Miss history.

“I’m home, so I’m gonna show (the fans) what they deserve to see,” Vissa told ESPN’s John Anderson after the race. “I felt (the crowd) since the bell lap.”

The tale of the tape on that time is long, with her performance Saturday making her the No. 14 performer in NCAA history with the 15th-fastest time ever. Additionally, it ranks No. 17 in Italian history and is the second-fastest run by an Italian this season. All-time, it is the fourth-best time ever run by an Italian on American soil. It also took down the long-standing facility record of 4:09.19 set by Mississippi State’s Tiffany McWilliams the last time the SEC Championships were held in Oxford back in 2004.

Vissa ended the day with 14 of the 72 Rebel women’s meet points after her victory in the 1500 and a fifth-place showing in the 5K later in the night on Saturday, clocking the second-best time in Ole Miss history at 15:56.86.

Loral Winn also scored for the Rebel women in the 1500-meter in eighth place at 4:16.32, which would have been a school record if not for Vissa’s historic winning time.

Reigning NCAA Indoor mile champion Mario Garcia Romo followed up Vissa’s crowd stirring performance with a clinic of his own, getting his own moment in the sun as he cruised down the packed straightaway to win at an Ole Miss career-best 3:36.91.

“All my friends and my roommates are here,” Garcia Romo told ESPN’s Anderson afterward. “Having all this support is amazing, and I’m just happy to win here at home.”

Garcia Romo once again proved his worth as one of the savviest racers around, besting collegiate record holder Eliud Kipsang of Alabama by three seconds at the line – where Garcia Romo debuted a new winning gesture as he blew a kiss to the camera. That time ranks as the best worldwide by a Spanish runner this season, as well as the third-best time in Ole Miss history and the No. 5 time run in the NCAA in 2022.

His victory in the 1500-meter puts Ole Miss back on top in the event, which the Rebels have won five of the last six seasons since 2016. Furthermore, when combined with Vissa’s win, Ole Miss is now the first school to sweep the 1500-meter races since Arkansas did so in 2002.

Shane Bracken also contributed for the Rebel men in the 1500-meter, taking fifth place at 3:41.43.

The Rebel women got off to a great start to the day in the women’s discus, as both Tedreauna Britt and Jalani Davis found the podium after season-best performances. The duo took silver and bronze, respectively, to tally 14 points for the Ole Miss women.

Britt, who came into the event trying to defend her title as the reigning women’s discus champion, took the lead by an inch on her final attempt of the day at that season-best of 54.36m/178-04, but Auburn’s Maura Huwalt unleashed a six-foot improvement on the final throw of the competition to win at 56.21m/184-05.

Davis’ season-best effort in the fourth round of 53.75m/176-04 helped her earn bronze in the event. Both now sit in the NCAA East Region top-25, with Britt coming in at No. 18 and Davis No. 21. The Rebels have now had a podium finish in women’s discus in five of last six SEC Outdoor meets, dating back to Raven Saunders’ runner-up finish in 2016.

Junior Lyndsey Reed notched her first career SEC medal after taking third in the pole vault at 4.30m/14-01.25. Reed cleared that height on her second attempt, and after a first-attempt miss at the next bar of 4.35m/14-03.25 she opted to pass to the next height of her near-PR of 4.40m/14-05.25. However, Reed missed her remaining two attempts there to bow out as the bronze medalist. Reed’s bronze is the first SEC Outdoor women’s pole vault medal for the Rebels since Lindsey Murray took bronze in 2018.

Narrowly missing out on the podium for the Rebels was the Ole Miss women’s 4×100-meter relay squad made up of Olivia Womack, Ariyonna Augustine, Jayda Eckford and Kelly Rowe. Even with the second-fastest time in school history of 43.60, the Rebels were edged out at the finish line by Texas A&M to slot into fourth overall. With their time, that Rebel quartet now moves up to 22nd overall on the NCAA list this season.

Senior Baylor Franklin also just missed out on a podium finish for the Rebels in the men’s 800-meter, despite running an unbelievable final 200. Franklin dug deep over the final turn, pushing him through the line at a new career-best 1:46.83. That time puts Franklin No. 4 in Ole Miss history and No. 10 in the NCAA this year. This is Franklin’s first official sub-1:47 in an open 800, but just two weeks ago he dropped a 1:46.76 second leg to help the Rebel men cruise to victory in the 4×800-meter relay at the Penn Relays.

Junior Cole Bullock locked in the final set of points for the Ole Miss men with a sixth-place finish in the men’s 5K, running 13:55.27 in the process. Kelly Rowe would find an additional point for the Rebels in the women’s 100-meter dash, earning a time of 11.57 (-0.7) and finishing eighth.

In total, 3,996 fans came to witness the high-caliber competition at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex over the three days of the championship meet, with a near-capacity crowd of 1,505 on-hand for Day Three on Saturday. This was only the second time Ole Miss has ever hosted the SEC Outdoor Championships, with the only other time being the 2004 edition.

“It’s the best conference in the country,” said Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith. “When you come out here and you watch these athletes and they perform and compete, and you have coaches who are passionate and were athletes themselves, they come out here and they just know how to get it done.”

Up next, the Rebels who are qualified and declared will travel to Indiana University for the NCAA East Regional, held May 25-28 in Bloomington, Indiana.

Final Women’s Team Scores

1. #3 Florida – 107

2. #5 Arkansas – 103

3. #4 LSU – 96.5

4. #7 Kentucky – 85

5. #2 Texas A&M – 74

6. #20 Ole Miss – 72

7. #22 Auburn – 57

8. Alabama – 48

9. Tennessee – 34

10. Georgia – 33.5

11. #17 South Carolina – 32

12. Missouri – 27

12. Vanderbilt – 27

13. Mississippi State – 22

Final Men’s Team Scores

1. #18 Arkansas – 121

2. #2 Alabama – 116

3. #12 Tennessee – 84

4. #3 Florida – 78

5. #5 Georgia – 75

6. #6 Texas A&M – 71

7. #4 LSU – 70

8. #15 Kentucky – 39

9. Missouri – 38

10. Auburn – 33

11. Mississippi State – 32

12. South Carolina – 31

13. Ole Miss – 25

Day Three Medalists

Sintayehu Vissa – Women’s 1500-Meter, 1st Place

Mario Garcia Romo – Men’s 1500-Meter, 1st Place

Tedreauna Britt – Women’s Discus, 2nd Place

Jalani Davis – Women’s Discus, 3rd Place

Lyndsey Reed – Women’s Pole Vault, 3rd Place

Other Day Three Scorers

Women’s 4×100-Meter Relay (Womack, Augustine, Eckford, Rowe), 4th Place

Baylor Franklin – Men’s 800-Meter, 4th Place

Shane Bracken – Men’s 1500-Meter, 5th Place

Sintayehu Vissa – Women’s 5K, 5th Place

Cole Bullock – Men’s 5K, 6th Place

Loral Winn – Women’s 1500-Meter, 8th Place

Kelly Rowe – Women’s 100-Meter, 8th Place

Day Two Scorers

Sara Van Aken – Women’s Heptathlon, 5th Place

Tedreauna Britt – Women’s Shot Put, 6th Place

Kristel van den Berg – Women’s 3000-Meter Steeplechase, 6th Place

Daniel Viveros – Men’s Shot Put, 6th Place

Day One Medalists

Skylar Boogerd – Women’s 10K, Silver Medal

Other Day One Scorers

Deborah Bulai – Women’s Hammer, 4th Place

Anna Elkin – Women’s 10K, 7th Place

Cate Tracht – Women’s 10K, 8th Place

Jasmine Mitchell – Women’s Hammer, 8th Place

REBELS IN DAY THREE COMPETITION

Women’s 100-Meter Dash Final

8. Kelly Rowe – 11.57 (-0.7)

Men’s 800-Meter Final

4. Baylor Franklin – 1:46.83 – PR, No. 4 Ole Miss History, No. 10 NCAA

Women’s 1500-Meter Final

1. Sintayehu Vissa – 4:08.72 – PR – School Record, No. 17 Italian History, No. 14 NCAA History (15th-fastest time), No. 2 Italy, No. 1 NCAA, No. 1 East, No. 2 Italy

8. Loral Winn – 4:16.32 – PR, No. 2 Ole Miss History, No. 44 NCAA

Men’s 1500-Meter Final

1. Mario Garcia Romo – 3:36.91 – Ole Miss Best, No. 3 Ole Miss History, No. 1 Spain, No. 5 NCAA, No. 3 East

5. Shane Bracken – 3:41.43

10. James Young – 3:52.01

12. Cade Bethmann – 3:54.79

Women’s 5K Final

5. Sintayehu Vissa – 15:56.86 – PR, No. 2 Ole Miss History, No. 39 NCAA, No. 21 East

Men’s 5K Final

6. Cole Bullock – 13:55.27

23. Dereck Elkins – 14:43.51

DNF Mario Garcia Romo

DNF Cade Bethmann

Women’s 4×100-Meter Relay Final

4. Olivia Womack, Ariyonna Augustine, Jayda Eckford, Kelly Rowe – 43.60 – No. 2 Ole Miss History, No. 22 NCAA

Men’s High Jump Final

9. Ukurugenzi Kojo – 2.07m/6-09.50 – PR, No. 11 Ole Miss History

Women’s Pole Vault Final

3. Lyndsey Reed – 4.30m/14-01.25

Men’s Pole Vault Final

NH Frankie Amore

NH Ford Maberry

NH Miles Walden

Women’s Triple Jump Final

16. Kyla McLaurin – 11.61m/38-01.25

Men’s Triple Jump Final

DNS Iangelo Atkinstall-Daley

Women’s Discus Final

2. Tedreauna Britt – 54.36/178-04 – SB, No. 40 NCAA, No. 18 East

3. Jalani Davis – 53.75m/176-04 – SB, No. 46 NCAA, No. 21 East

12. Jasmine Mitchell – 48.33m/158-06

15. Deborah Bulai – 45.79m/150-02

—–

REBELS IN DAY TWO COMPETITION

Women’s 100-Meter Dash Prelims

8. Kelly Rowe – 11.70q (-0.5)

Women’s 400-Meter Dash Prelims

34. Toni Glatz – 56.97

Men’s 400-Meter Dash Prelims

25. Isaiah Weasby – 48.18

Women’s 1500-Meter Prelims

1. Sintayehu Vissa – 4:16.49 AQ – School Record, No. 18 East

6. Loral Winn – 4:18.23 AQ – PR, No. 2 Ole Miss History, No. 37 East

16. Lydia van Dijk – 4:24.91

Men’s 1500-Meter Prelims

2. Cade Bethmann – 3:44.89 AQ

3. Mario Garcia Romo – 3:51.62 AQ

5. James Young – 3:45.32 AQ

8. Shane Bracken – 3:45.61 AQ

29. Cole Piotrowski – 3:54.97

Women’s 3000-Meter Steeplechase Final

6. Kristel van den Berg – 10:08.18

15. Morgan Claire Rose – 10:36.49

Men’s 3000-Meter Steeplechase Final

9. Chase Rose – 9:04.71 – PR, No. 8 Ole Miss History

Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles Prelims

10. Spencer Brown – 14.06 (+0.6) – PR, No. 8 Ole Miss History

11. Keirston Paige – 14.21 (+0.2)

DQ – Kenney Broadnax

Women’s Long Jump Final

16. Skye Gross – 5.57m/18-03.25 (+0.2)

Women’s Shot Put Final

6. Tedreauna Britt – 16.44m/53-11.25 – PR, No. 5 Ole Miss History, No. 17 East

9. Jasmine Mitchell – 15.62m/51-03.00 – SB

10. Jalani Davis – 15.55m/51-00.25

Men’s Shot Put Final

6. Daniel Viveros – 19.06m/62-06.50

—–

REBELS IN DAY ONE COMPETITION

Women’s 200-Meter Dash Prelims

12. Olivia Womack – 23.46 (-0.3) – PR, No. 8 Ole Miss History

25. Jayda Eckford – 24.01 (-0.3)

29. Ariyonna Augustine – 24.18 (-0.3)

Men’s 200-Meter Dash Prelims

17. Elijah Dryer – 20.94 (-0.2)

Women’s 800-Meter Prelims

17. Madison Hulsey – 2:09.32

Men’s 800-Meter Prelims

4. Baylor Franklin – 1:48.01 AQ

10. Marcus Dropik – 1:48.43 – PR, No. 15 Ole Miss History, No. 41 East

22. Cole Piotrowski – 1:50.41 – PR

Women’s 10K Final

2. Skylar Boogerd – 34:11.87 – PR, No. 5 Ole Miss History, No. 30 East

7. Anna Elkin – 35:00.61 – PR, No. 11 Ole Miss History

8. Cate Tracht – 35:10.99 – PR, No. 12 Ole Miss History

Men’s 10K Final

Nick Moulai – DNF

Women’s Hammer Final

4. Deborah Bulai – 61.41m/201-05 – PR, No. 6 Ole Miss History, No. 50 NCAA East

8. Jasmine Mitchell – 60.39m/198-01

FOUL Jalani Davis

Men’s Hammer Final

11. Joseph Lanham – 58.78m/192-10 – PR, No. 9 all-time

—–

Men’s Decathlon

Pierce Genereux – DNF

100-Meter Dash: 11th, 11.59 (+2.7) – 734 Points

Long Jump: 11th, 5.86m/19-02.75 (-1.5) – 556 Points

Shot Put: 7th, 12.18m/39-11.50 – 617 Points

High Jump: 11th, 1.73m/5-10.50 – 569 Points – SB

400-Meter Dash: 10th, 52.28 – 713 Points – PR

110-Meter Hurdles: 10th, 17.14 (-0.9) – 610 Points

Discus: 8th, 33.03m/108-04 – 524 Points

Pole Vault: NH

Javelin: DNS

1500-Meter: DNS

Peyton Lowery – DNF

100-Meter Dash: 9th, 11.34 (+1.1) – 786 Points

Long Jump: 10th, 6.26m/20-06.50 – 644 Points

Shot Put: 11th, 9.33m/30-07.50 – 445 Points

High Jump: 9th, 1.79m/5-08.00 – 619 Points

400-Meter Dash: DNF

110-Meter Hurdles: DNS

Discus: DNS

Pole Vault: DNS

Javelin: DNS

1500-Meter: DNS

Women’s Heptathlon

Sara Van Aken – 5104 Points, 5th Place

100-Meter Hurdles: 7th, 14.68 (+1.2) – 884 Points – PR

High Jump: 2nd, 1.72m/5-07.75 – 879 Points

Shot Put: 1st, 11.91m/39-01.00 – 655 Points – PR

200-Meter Dash: 9th, 26.12 (+1.1) – 787 Points

Long Jump: 6th, 5.44m/17-10.25 (+1.7) – 683 Points

Javelin: 4th, 34.56m/113-04 – 563 Points

800-Meter: 8th, 2:33.22 – 653 Points

Meg Goebel – 4542 Points, 10th Place – PR, No. 15 Ole Miss History

100-Meter Hurdles: 8th, 14.79 (-0.7) – 870 Points

High Jump: 5th, 1.69m/5-06.50 – 842 Points – PR

Shot Put: 9th, 9.43m/30-11.25 – 492 Points – PR

200-Meter Dash: 6th, 25.73 (+1.9) – 821 Points

Long Jump: 9th, 5.05m/16-07.00 (+0.2) – 573 Points

Javelin: 9th, 27.50m/90-02 – 429 Points – PR

800-Meter: 10th, 2:45.21 – 515 Points


Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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