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Ole Miss Track & Field to Honor Senior Class at 2023 Joe Walker Invite

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Ole Miss track & field will pay homage to its senior class with a large home meet at the sixth iteration of the Joe Walker Invitational at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex this weekend.
• Competition is set to begin with the start of the men’s hammer at 11 a.m. CT on Fridaybefore an action-packed evening of distance races. The meet will conclude on Saturday with competition resuming at 10 a.m. CT with the men’s decathlon.
• Ole Miss is coming off an excellent split weekend at the Texas Relays and Stanford Invitational, where the Rebels set two world leads, three national leads, three collegiate leads and broke six overall school records. Leading the way were those two world leads courtesy of McKenzie Long in the women’s 100-meter dash (all-conditions, 10.80/+3.5) and Anthony Camerieri in the men’s 5K (13:26.58).
• On Saturday, Ole Miss will honor 32 Rebel seniors: Ariyonna Augustine, Shane Bracken, Tedreauna Britt, Kenney Broadnax, Spencer Brown, Anthony Camerieri, Tiarnan Crorken, Jalani Davis, Jayda Eckford, Dereck Elkins, Baylor Franklin, Jack Filan, Pierce Genereux, Meg Goebel, Ryann Helmers, Dalton Hengst, Christian Hill, Jocelyn Long, McKenzie Long, Jacob Lough, Peyton Lowery, Chris Maxon, Jasmine Mitchell, Noah Mumme, Jaiden Paris, Keith Robinson, Ben Savino, Shey Taiwo, Sara Van Aken, Kristel van den Berg Daniel Viveros and Ahmad Young Jr.
• This is the sixth Joe Walker Invitational, which is named for the former Ole Miss track & field head coach who led the Rebels to 11 top-20 national finishes, 124 All-America honors, 12 NCAA individual champions and 60 SEC individual titles during his 30-year career in Oxford. Known for his ability to coach elite-level jumpers and hurdlers and for his warm and caring persona, Walker was inducted into the Ole Miss M-Club Alumni Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
By The Numbers
• 27 schools
• 49 total teams
• 5 USTFCCCA Top-25 teams
• 809 total athletes
• 1,194 total entries
Men’s Teams (23 teams, 544 entries, 379 athletes)
#7 Alabama, Alabama A&M, Arkansas State, Christian Brothers, Coahoma Community College, Illinois State, Indiana State, Jackson State, Lamar, Lipscomb, #15 Louisville, Memphis, #25 Mississippi State, Mississippi Valley State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Sam Houston State, Southeast Missouri, South Alabama, ULM, UT Martin, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky
Women’s Teams (26 teams, 650 entries, 430 athletes)
Alabama, Alabama A&M, Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Ball State, Christian Brothers, Illinois State, Indiana State, Jackson State, Lamar, Lipscomb, Louisville, Memphis, Mississippi State, Mississippi Valley State, Murray State, #15 Notre Dame, #7 Ole Miss, Sam Houston State, Southeast Missouri, South Alabama, St. Norbert, ULM, UT Martin, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky
Ole Miss Track & Field Complex
• The 2017 season was the first for the renovated Ole Miss Track & Field Complex, which received $7.2 million in upgrades and can seat 1,500 spectators in its new design. Recently, a brand-new locker room facility — the Jerry Hollingsworth Track & Field / Cross Country Facility — was opened for use as an addition to the overall complex.
• Ole Miss set a new overall program record for the outdoor season, moving up to No. 7 in the Week Two USTFCCCA National Rating Index.
• The No. 7 ranking breaks the previous outdoor record of No. 8 set both by the Rebel women last week, and the 2012 Rebel men, who rose to No. 8 in Week Five of the 2012 outdoor campaign.
• This is Rebel women’s 40th all-time appearance in the outdoor rating index, the 31st since 2016 under the supervision of eighth-year head coach Connie Price-Smith.
• Ole Miss currently owns 176.24 points in the Week Two release thanks in large part to a powerful group of women’s throwers that would rank as the No. 15 team nationally all by themselves (110.13), and a spectacular performance by senior McKenzie Long in the 100-meter dash at the Texas Relays last week.
• The Rebel men, meanwhile, aren’t far outside the top-25 in the Week One release, currently sitting in 26th nationally.
• Senior McKenzie Long stole the show in Texas last week, dazzling the track world with an all-conditions world lead of 10.80 (+3.5) in the prelim and a wind-legal 11.00 (+0.2) in the final — both Ole Miss records.
• Long’s effort in the prelim stands as tied for the fifth-best in collegiate history on the all-conditions list, trailing only North Carolina A&T’s Cambrea Sturgis from the 2021 NCAA Championships (10.74/+2.2), LSU’s Sha’Carri Richardson from the 2019 NCAA Championships (10.75/+1.6), LSU’s Dawn Sowell from the 1989 NCAA Championships (10.78/+1.0) and USC’s Twanisha Terry from the 2021 NCAA Championships (10.79/+2.2). In U.S. history, Long ranks tied for 24th on the all-conditions list, and worldwide tied for No. 39 all-time.
• Her wind-legal 11.00 (+0.2) in the final ranks as the U.S. and collegiate lead for 2023, as well as putting her No. 3 worldwide this outdoor season.
• Immediately following her final was an invitational section of the 100-meter dash filled with professionals and Olympians, and when the times flashed on the screen, Long’s two-day performance became even more impressive as her 11.00 beat out the heat winner – Olympian Gabby Thomas – by nine hundredths of a second.
• Both of those times flew past Long’s previous career-bests, a wind-legal 11.49 (+0.3) from the 2022 Virginia Challenge and a windy 11.40 (+3.1) from the 2019 U.S. U20 Championships.
• Long is the first Rebel woman to ever break 11 seconds in the 100-meter in any conditions – joining her similar feats indoors as the first Rebel woman to hit 7.10 in the 60-meter (7.10) and break 23 seconds in the 200-meter (22.48).
• Indoors, Long wowed with massive improvements in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes, culminating with an SEC silver in the 200 and First-Team All-America finishes in both events. Long already owns four Ole Miss records in less than three months in a Rebel uniform, and has still yet to run a 200-meter outdoors this season.
• Long also ran the second leg on the Ole Miss women’s 4×100-meter relay at Texas last week alongside Jaiden Paris, Jayda Eckford and Ariyonna Augustine. The quartet finished fifth at a season-best 43.84, tied for No. 6 in Ole Miss history as well as No. 8 in the NCAA, and No. 6 in both the East Region and the SEC this year.
• All-American senior and reigning NCAA Indoor weight throw champion Jalani Davis opened her outdoor season off right where she left off after a historic indoor campaign. Davis’ U.S. and NCAA No. 3 in the shot put (17.91m/58-09.25) and her NCAA No. 3 mark in the hammer (67.82m/222-06) currently makes her the only thrower worldwide at 58 feet in the shot put and 222 feet in the hammer this season.
• Indoors, Davis became the first woman in world history to break 80 feet in the weight throw and 60 feet in the shot put, and she did so in the same meet at the SEC Indoor Championships. Combined, Davis is also the only thrower in world history at 80 feet in the weight throw (24.63m/80-09.75; 2023), 60 feet in the shot put in either season (18.43m/60-05.75; 2023 indoor), 228 feet in the hammer (69.53m/228-01; 2022) and 184 feet in the discus (56.23m/184-06; 2021).
• Fellow All-American and NCAA weight throw champion Shey Taiwo has had a consistent start to her final outdoor season, throwing beyond 67 meters in the hammer in each of her first two competitions of 2023. Taiwo, who missed the 2022 outdoor season due to injury and was granted an extra year in 2023, currently ranks No. 4 in the NCAA at 67.69m/222-01.
• Taiwo put together the most prolific weight throw season in NCAA history in 2022 en route to the national title, ending one centimeter shy of the collegiate record at 25.55m/83-10. The year before — her last full outdoor season — Taiwo was the NCAA runner-up in the hammer at 71.27m/233-10. That mark still ranks her as the No. 10 performer in collegiate history and the top returner for 2023.
• When combining the season-bests for Davis, Taiwo and Jasmine Mitchell (NCAA No. 9, 65.42m/214-07), the Rebel trio hold an average hammer distance of 66.98m/219-09. When combining their career bests, that number shoots up to 69.06m/226-07.
• Fellow senior thrower Tedreauna Britt is having the best all-around start of the group, notching PRs in all three of her events. In the shot put, Britt currently ranks No. 19 in the NCAA, No. 11 in the East Region and No. 5 in the SEC behind Davis at an overall PR of 16.57m/54-04.50 — improving upon her slot as the No. 6 performer in school history outdoors.
• In the discus, Britt — a two-time SEC medalist and 2021 champion in the event — let one fly a career-best 54.94m/180-03 two weeks ago at the Ole Miss Classic. That puts her No. 21 nationally, No. 14 regionally and No. 5 in the SEC this year.
• At the Stanford Invitational, the Rebel women took down two school records and notched four total NCAA top-50 times.
• Senior Kristel van den Berg clocked a huge 57-second PR in the 5K of 15:54.27, breaking Skylar Boogerd’s record of 15:54.46 from last season. She now ranks No. 22 in the NCAA, No. 14 in the East Region, and leads the SEC at that time. Loral Winn also notched a fast 5K at 15:55.57, the No. 3 time now in Ole Miss history that puts her No. 24 nationally, No. 15 regionally and No. 2 in the SEC behind van den Berg.
• Boogerd was not without a school record for long, breaking the 10K record set by Clio Ozanne-Jaques in 2021 with a monster 84-second PR of 32:47.83. That time leads the SEC and puts her No. 13 in the NCAA and No. 4 in the East Region. Boogerd is the reigning SEC Outdoor silver medalist in the 10K, in which she was also a qualifier for the NCAA East Regional last season.
• Also clocking a top-50 time in the 10K was senior Ryann Helmers at 33:39.88 — No. 4 in school history and No. 50 in the NCAA this year.
• Senior hurdler Jaiden Paris has had a superb start to her outdoor season as both a member of the Rebel 4×100-meter relay and as its top 100-meter hurdler. Paris currently owns the No. 3 spot in Ole Miss history at her wind-legal 13.40 (+1.5) that ranks No. 33 in the NCAA, No. 22 in the East and No. 9 in the SEC. At Texas Relays last week, Paris became the first Rebel woman to ever break 13.20 in any conditions, running a windy 13.16 (+5.9) for an all-conditions Ole Miss record.
• In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, freshman Gabrielle Matthews continues to impress, moving from eighth to fourth in school history in just her second collegiate race last week at Texas Relays. Matthews clocked a two-second PR of 58.88, which ranks No. 39 nationally.
• Ole Miss received two NCAA leading performances from its distance runners last week from two powerful performances across two separate meets.
• All-American senior Tiarnan Crorken finished third in the men’s 800-meter invitational at the Texas Relays last week at an outdoor collegiate PR of 1:46.82, moving him atop the NCAA and Great Britain leaderboards, as well as No. 19 worldwide this outdoor season. Crorken is the seventh Rebel to ever break 1:47 in the 800-meter outdoors.
• At the Stanford Invitational, the Rebel men smashed two school records of their own and receiving a world-leading performance from All-American senior Anthony Camerieri in the 5K. Camerieri won the invitational section at a 22-second PR of 13:26.58, which broke Ryan Walling’s 2016 school record of 13:31.30.
• Camerieri, who ran five consecutive sub-four minute miles indoors after having never done so prior to arriving at Ole Miss last fall, clocked a 4:11.18 final 1600 and a 58.95 final lap to help put him atop the world list for 2023.
• In the 10K, senior Ben Savino became the first Rebel to break the 29-minute barrier, finishing 12th overall at a 105-second PR of 28:50.64 to break Mark Robertson’s 2019 record of 29:00.46. Fellow senior Chris Maxon finished 18th at 28:55.71, a 45-second PR that also would have broken the school record. The duo currently rank No. 4 and No. 5 in the SEC this year, as well as No. 41 and No. 50 in the NCAA, respectively.
• All-American freshman thrower Tarik Robinson-O’Hagan currently owns two top-25 performances for the Rebel men so far. He improved in the hammer at Texas Relays last week to 69.64m/228-06, currently the No. 9 throw nationally, No. 5 regionally and No. 2 in the SEC. That throw also ranks second among freshmen nationally this season and improves upon his place at No. 2 in school history in the hammer.
• Robinson-O’Hagan’s outdoor best in the shot put of 18.63m/61-01.50 from two weeks ago at the Ole Miss Classic still ranks No. 25 in the NCAA, No. 9 in the East and No. 6 in the SEC, in addition to No. 3 in Ole Miss history outdoors. That throw also still leads all freshmen nationally by more than one foot.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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