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    SEC Track & Field - Friday Update

    20th-RANKED VOLS SHINE ON DAY TWO AT FRANKLIN FIELD

    PHILADELPHIA – The newly-ranked No. 20 Volunteer track & field team shined in front of 39,103 fans at Franklin Field on Friday, earning a fourth-place finish in the sprint medley Championship of America, and advancing one relay and one individual to title races on Saturday at the 119th edition of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

    In front of the seventh-largest Friday crowd in meet history, sophomore sprinter Jamol James got the action going for Big Orange with a readout of 10.58 seconds in the 100-meter preliminary heats. James, who owns a lifetime best mark of 10.17 in the event, advances to Saturday’s championship race at 3:45 p.m. ET.

    A member of Trinidad & Tobago’s London Olympic relay pool, James joined teammates Arnez Hardnick, Reggie Juin and Jarael Nelvis on the track for both the 4x100m and 4x200m prelims on Friday. The Vols posted the 10th-best time in program history in the 4x2, crossing the line in third place of the opening heat in 1 minute, 24.25 seconds to secure a place in tomorrow’s eight-team Championship of America.

    Entering the meet as the 11th-fastest 4x1 in the nation, the foursome finished just two spots (10th) outside of Championship of America qualifying, clocking in at 40.86 seconds. However, the relay will run in the final of the college section at 1:15 p.m. ET.

    In a relay that features a mixture of sprint and middle distance runners, Nelvis and James handled the first two hitches, with 200m legs that kept Tennessee right in the thick of the Championship of America sprint medley relay. With the team standing in third, sophomore Michael Williams ran the 400m leg, and his classmate Nick Kaiser guided the Orange and White to a fourth-place finish with his 800m closing hitch of 1:49.7 to post an overall time of 3:20.26.

    The Lady Vols ran the seventh-fastest 4x1,500-meter relay in program history in the Championship of America section, placing sixth with a mark of 18 minutes, 12.51 seconds. The relay was comprised of freshman Alexis Panisse, senior Kelsey Kane, sophomore Amirah Johnson and graduate student Hannah Davidson.

    In the field, junior jumper Allison Outerbridge finished seventh in the college triple jump with a leap of 39-feet, 11.25-inches (12.17m). Sophomore pole vaulter Michael Maira tied for 10th place in the men’s collegiate pole vault section, clearing 15-feet, 3-inches (4.65m).

    Saturday’s USA vs. The World competition, which consists of former Tennessee standouts Justin Gatlin (4x100mR), Tianna Madison (4x100mR), DeeDee Trotter (4x400mR), Phoebe Wright (4x800mR) and Chanelle Price (4x800mR), will begin at 1:05 p.m. ET with the women’s 4x8. NBC will broadcast the entirety of the 14th running of the competition live from 1-3 p.m. ET. An addition two hours of Penn Relays coverage will be shown on Universal Sports from 3-5 p.m. ET.

    Saturday’s competition also consists of the college men’s pole vault championship, where highly-touted Vol pole vaulters Jake Blankenship, Chase Brannon and Tyler Porter will compete. The three standouts are all ranked in the nation’s top 25.
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    Aggie women claim 5th consecutive Penn Relays 4x100, win 3rd shuttle hurdle relay in four years

    PHILADELPHIA – Winning the women’s 4x100 relay for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year at the 119th Penn Relay Carnival produced a historic achievement for Texas A&M during Friday’s portion of the meet in front of 39,103 fans at Franklin Field.

    The Aggie sprint relay crew of LaKeidra Stewart, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Ashley Collier posted a winning time of 43.05 seconds for the victory, notching the sixth fastest time in Penn Relays history. For Collier it was the third time for her to be on a winning 4x100 at the Penn Relays.

    “I just made sure I got the stick from Kamaria and ran my hardest to the finish line,” said Collier.

    Another relay victory on the day for the Aggie women followed in the shuttle hurdle relay as Donique’ Flemings ran on her third winning relay in the event over the past four years. Joining Flemings on the victorious effort were Jena Hemann, Annie Kunz and LaQue Moen-Davis. They ran 55.30 to better the field by over a second.

    In the sprint relay the 43.05 by the Aggies claimed the race over a 43.32 from UTech of Jamaica with LSU third in 43.91. The rest of the field included Kentucky 44.44, Oregon 44.57, G.C. Foster 44.64, Johnson C. Smith 45.02 and Norfolk State 45.47.

    “It was amazing at the start of the race with the crowd screaming other team’s names,” said Stewart. “It pumped me up to get the lead and help my team out.”

    Purvis added: “Running on the second leg with LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan and English Gardner from Oregon encourages me to run faster since I’m competing against two elite sprinters.”

    No matter the line-up A&M has had during the run of five consecutive victories in the women’s 4x100, the same philosophy in execution holds true each time.

    “Our main goal is to run through the zone and make sure all the exchanges were good,” explained Brown.

    The Aggies won the shuttle hurdle race by over a second as Western Michigan placed second in 56.58 while Cornell finished third in 57.59.

    “It’s exciting to be on three winning relays over the span of my career at Texas A&M,” said Flemings, who ran on the collegiate record setting win of 52.50 in 2010 as a freshman and was also part of the 2011 victory in 53.41 as a sophomore. “This group of ladies with me this year ran well and did their job. We came out successful. To win three times in one event is special, and to be part of that with three different groups of ladies is a great feeling.

    “I saw we were a bit behind when Jena finished her opening leg. I didn’t think about it too much, I just knew I had to run my leg to put us back in it so that the rest of the girls could run their legs.”

    Hemann had an awkward start to the race, but Flemings helped make up ground on the second leg. Then Kunz and Moen-Davis did their part to secure the victory.

    “I was a little upset with my start,” stated Hemann. “I was kind of rushed since I wasn’t ready in the set position. The girls were behind me 100 percent and picked up the slack I left behind. It was awesome to see us get the win.”

    Kunz added: “We’ve been working on the hurdles in practice every week and I’ve been improving. I just wanted to run as well as I could and help get the team as far ahead as I could. It was different since you’re not competing for yourself, your competing for a team. It was a different atmosphere, but I was glad to have the opportunity to run with these ladies.”

    After winning the long jump on Thursday, Moen-Davis added a relay title on Saturday with her effort as the anchor leg in the shuttle hurdles.

    “I wanted to contribute my part to the team,” said Moen-Davis. “Competing with this group of girls was exciting, I had fun today.”

    Moen-Davis also finished second in the women’s championship of the triple jump with a wind-aided mark of 43-5 (13.23w). The winner of the event was Shanieka Thomas of San Diego State with a leap of 44-8 (13.61). The long jump title Moen-Davis won on Thursday was the second claimed by an Aggie, joining the 2007 title Ashika Charan won.

    Thomas entered the meet with a collegiate leading mark of 45-1.5 (13.75). Third place in the event went to Maryland’s Thea LaFond with a windy 42-11.75 (13.10) while LSU’s Keri Emanuel placed fourth with a 41-3.75 (12.59). A solid series of marks for Moen-Davis included 41-9.75 (12.74), 42-11.75 (13.10), 41-9.25 (12.73), 42-0.5 (12.81), 43-5w (13.23w) and 42-7.5 (12.99).

    The college women’s triple jump had Jordan Wilson placing third with a distance of 40-9.75w (12.44) while Haley Gooch finished ninth with a windy 39-8.75 (12.11).

    Setting up for Saturday’s final day Texas A&M had the leading qualifying times in the men’s and women’s 4x200 heats as well as the men’s 4x400 prelims on Friday.

    Deon Lendore equaled the 11th fastest split in Penn Relays history, and fastest since 2000, with an impressive 44.3 that capped a leading time of 3:03.60 for the Aggies in the men’s 4x400. The first three legs of the relay included Ricky Babineux (47.0), Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (46.0), and Carlyle Roudette (46.3). Finishing second to A&M in the heat was Middle Tennessee in 3:07.12.

    “This is the best weather we’ve had up here, so we wanted to take advantage of it,” noted Lendore. “We knew we had to run a fast time to get a good lane for the final. Last week I messed up a bit in the 4x400 at LSU, so today I gave it my all. I knew if I ran my heart out we’d run fast.

    “It felt good running that fast on the anchor leg. It was a wonderful crowd and they brought me home. When I get introduced as an Olympic bronze medalist with the Trinidad relay it kind of puts a target on my back. So it gets me to race hard since I know everyone is coming for me.”

    Advancing to Saturday’s final with the Aggies are the following schools: St. Augustine’s 3:04.90, Mississippi State 3:05.15, Middle Tennessee 3:07.12, Delaware State 3:07.39, Pittsburgh 3:07.61, Oregon 3:08.14 and Hampton 3:08.99.

    In 4x200 qualifying the A&M women cruised to a leading time of 1:32.55 with the crew of Ashton Purvis, Ibukun Mayungbe, Olivia Ekpone and Kamaria Brown. Finishing second to the Aggies was Kentucky (1:36.18) who placed ninth overall.

    The seven teams joining A&M in the women’s 4x200 final on Saturday are Rutgers (1:34.17), G.C. Foster (1:34.21), Indiana Tech (1:34.35), South Carolina (1:35.30), Norfolk State (1:35.34), Houston (1:35.58) and George Mason (1:35.87).

    A 1:21.76 was the leading time in the men’s 4x200 qualifying with the Aggies running a foursome of Michael Bryan, Prezel Hardy, Aldrich Bailey, Jr., and Ameer Webb. Runner-up to A&M was Delaware State with a 1:25.03, who finished ninth overall.

    Running the final with the Aggies in Saturday’s final are St. Augustine’s 1:22.99, UTech 1:23.40, Middle Tennessee 1:23.81, South Carolina 1:23.98, Tennessee 1:24.25 and Savannah State 1:24.46.

    The same Aggie foursome in the men’s 4x200 also ran in the prelims of the 4x100, winning their heat in 40.60 with the order of Webb, Bailey, Bryan and Hardy. However, the first pass of the baton was made outside the exchange zone and A&M was disqualified.

    Qualifiers for individual finals on Saturday include Ameer Webb and Olivia Ekpone in their respective 100 meters as well as Wayne Davis II and Flemings in the 110 and 100 hurdles.

    Webb ran 10.42 into a -1.4 head wind to place second in the first heat of the 100 behind a 10.33 by UTech’s Andrew Fisher. Those were the top two times posted in the qualifying round. Ekpone won her heat of the 100 in 11.59 (0.0 wind), which was third best overall. India Daniels placed third in the same heat with an 11.74. Jermaine Davis placed seventh in a men’s heat of the 100 with a 10.77 to place 18th overall.

    Wayne Davis claimed the first heat of the 110 hurdles in 13.90 (-0.6) and his time was second best overall to a 13.86 run by Donald Pollitt of Syracuse. Flemings followed her exploits in the shuttle hurdle relay with a 13.36 heat win over 100 hurdles, equaling the top qualifying time also set by Evonne Britton of Penn State.

    Other finals on Friday included a men’s sprint medley consisting of Ricky Babineaux, Jermaine Davis, Carlyle Roudette and Hector Hernandez placed sixth in the first section of the final, running a time of 3:21.02. University of West Indies Mona won the race in 3:17.81 with Mississippi State second in 3:18.32 and Penn State taking third at 3:18.52. Finishing behind A&M were Kentucky (3:21.45), Pittsburgh (3:21.70) and Western Kentucky (3:22.48).

    In the men’s distance medley relay the Aggies placed 10th in 9:48.40 with the foursome of Juan Blanco, Hector Hernandez, Josh Hernandez and Henry Lelei. Penn State won the race in 9:24.68, with Villanova second at 9:26.80, and Oregon third with a 9:27.09. Finishing behind the Aggies were Michigan (9:54.89) and Tennessee (10:02.57).
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    Bulldog Sprinters Lead The Way As Penn Relays Continue

    PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – To complete day two of the historic Penn Relays, the Mississippi State track and field team posted six Top 10 finishes, highlighted by Top 5 times in the men’s and women’s sprint medleys.

    The Bulldog sprint medley quartet of Tavaris Tate, Jarrett Samuels, Daundre Barnaby and Brandon McBride clocked a 3:18.32 on Friday at Franklin Field to finish second out of 34 teams. In similar fashion, the MSU women finished fifth in the college sprint medley championship. Brittney Covington, Erica Bougard, Jody-Ann Muir and Kanishia Carey finished with a time of 3:52.78.

    Entering the meet as the sixth-ranked 4x400-meter relay team in the nation, Tate, Randy Patterson, Barnaby and McBride broke their season-best record (3:05.35) set last month at the Texas Relays. The foursome finished third in today’s preliminaries after posting a 3:05.15 and will compete in tomorrow’s championship finals set for 6 p.m.

    Later in the day, freshman Scottie Hearns proved his leadership on the track as he finished third in a field of 50 hurdlers. His time of 51.76 in the college 400-meter hurdles championships placed him ahead of teammate Nathan Arnett (54.15), who finished 29th.

    Maroon and White distance athletes also saw action on day two, as Chloe Phillips, Fabienne Amrhein, Emma Neigel and Renee Masterson teamed up to race a 18:20.90 in the college 4x1500-meter championship. The quartet’s time landed them a spot in seventh, while adding another commendable finish to MSU’s afternoon.

    Lady Bulldog Ebony Brinker was the only State athlete to see field action on Friday. Brinker leaped 40-09.50 in the triple jump, just a quarter of an inch shy of her personal best, to finish in fourth.
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    Four Individual Top-10 Showings Highlight Friday Action at Penn Relays Four relay teams advance to Saturday finals as well.
          
    COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina track and field had four top-10 individual performances to go with four relay teams advancing out of prelims to highlight Friday’s busy day at Penn Relays. Jeannelle Scheper finished 10th in the high jump in the Championship competition, while Ceci Kryst came in second in the Eastern competition of the triple jump for the women. On the men’s side, Jarrod Hutchen finished fourth in the Championship long jump, and Jermaine Collier took seventh in the Championship 400m hurdles.

    Kryst kicked things off for the Gamecocks with a personal best in the triple jump. The senior turned in a 12.25m w (40-2.25) to take second in the Eastern competition. Scheper went on to score a 1.76m (5-9.25) in the championship high jump to take 10th place. Kierre Beckles went on to post the third-highest time (13.40) in the prelims of the 100m hurdles to advance to Saturday’s finals.

    Two of the Gamecocks’ three women’s relay teams in competition advanced to Saturday finals as well. Tyler Brockington, Ahty Johnson, Vashti Bandy and Tamera Harris posted the fourth-fastest time in the 4x100m (45.48). Brockington, Bandy, Melekia Simpson and Christal Green ran the fifth-fastest time in the 4x200m (1:35.30) to advance as well.

    On the men’s side, Hutchen placed fourth in the long jump Championship, posting a 7.35m (24-1.5). Collier ran a season-best 52.52 to take seventh in the 400m hurdles Championship. Two of the men’s three relay teams reached Saturday’s finals. In the 4x200m, Chris Royster, Eric Winfrey, Clayton Gravesande and Chris Walker ran a 1:23.98 to rank fifth in the prelims. Kendall Kee, Royster, Dondre Echols and Winfrey combined for a 40.70 in the 4x100m to advance to their final as well.
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    UK 4x100-Meter Relay Team Posts Season-Best Time at Penn Relays

    PHILADELPHIA and LA JOLLA, Calif. – The Kentucky 4x100-meter relay team highlighted the No. 24 UK women’s track and field team’s performance at the 119th Penn Relay Carnival for the second straight day on Friday.

    Tamyah Pipkin, Morganne Phillips, Kayla Parker and Keilah Tyson combined for a time of 44.44, which was the second fastest performance in school history. The Wildcats finished fourth in Championship of America final.

    Multiple Wildcats posted qualifying times for Saturday event finals in three sprint events.

    Tyson and Pipkin followed up their relay performance with qualifying performances in the 100-meter dash prelims. Tyson finished third in her heat, but qualified with the fifth fastest time (11.68). Tamyah Pipkin took second in her heat, crossing the finish line in 11.74.

    Keith Hayes reached the 110-meter hurdles final with a time of 14.16. He will compete in the final on Saturday at 3:20 p.m. ET.

    Kayla Parker qualified for Saturday’s 3:15 p.m. 100-meter hurdles championship with a qualifying time of 13:64.

    In one of Kentucky’s most exciting performances on Friday, UK’s sprint medley relay team won heat two of the timed final. Kadeem Kushimo, Ben Mason and Hayes positioned things nicely for Keffri Neal to make a run at the race victory on the final 800-meter leg. The sophomore Canadian took advantage.

    Neal waited until the final 200 meters to make his move, and his tactics were right on as he pegged back five competitors to claim the heat going away in 3:21.45. UK finished 7th overall.

    The UK throwers are competing at Triton Invitational on the University of California-San Diego campus this weekend. Friday Triton results are currently unavailable.

    Multiple Wildcats will compete at the Miami Redhawk Invitational as well on Saturday.

    The UK men’s distance medley relay team posted a significant 2013-best time of 9:39.19. Jake Wildenmann led off with a 2:55.40 1,200-meter leg, Ben Mason produced a 48.30, 400M leg, Robbie Scharold covered 800 meters in 1:48.90, and Adam Kahleifeh anchored over 1,600 meters in 4:06.60.

    The women’s 4x200-meter relay team just missed a spot in Saturday’s championship final as Danielle Sampley, Shiara Robinson, Parker and Angelica Whaley stopped the clock in 1:36.18, less than a second behind a qualifying time.

    The women’s sprint medley relay squad, which was made up of Pipkin, Phillips, Whaley and Allison Peare, finished 8th with a time of 3:53.94.

    Brandon Bagley, Kushimo, Mason and Hayes ran the 14th-fastest 4x100-meter relay prelim time (41.02).

    Terence Boyd’s long jump of 7.07 meters / 23’2.5” (wind aided) gave him a fourth-place finish in the college men’s long jump.
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    Georgia Track & Field Piles Up Victories At Drake Relays

    DES MOINES, Iowa --- The Bulldog track and field teams tallied five wins in a variety of events during the third day of the 104th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday.

    Georgia has junior Elizabeth Tepe, who is the reigning Southeastern Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week, competing in the hammer throw at 10 a.m. ET to start action on Saturday.  Events continue until the early evening.  The Drake Relays, which have more than 2,000 collegiate competitors scheduled to compete, continue through Saturday.

    “I’m not sure we have ever won this many events in a single trip to Drake so that is encouraging,” said Georgia head coach Wayne Norton.  “We have won a middle distance event, a relay, something in the throws and an event in the jumps so that shows we are doing a nice job of across the board.  We have a lot of things going on right now that are pointing us in the right direction.  The performances we are having are showing consistent improvements and should have us on pace for the (Southeastern Conference) Championships in two weeks.”

    Freshman Freya Jones moved into the No. 3 spot in the Lady Bulldog record books by taking second in the javelin.  Jones recorded a personal-best throw of 173 feet, 8 inches, which is more than a 13-foot improvement from her previous top throw at Georgia and is the fifth-best throw in the nation this year.  A native of Hampshire, United Kingdom, Jones also had a mark of 173-6 in her series.

    “Freya hasn’t had too many chances this year to throw so far, but she came out and took care of business today,” Norton said.

    Similar to the War Eagle Invitational last weekend, the Bulldogs finished first, second and third in the men’s shot put, although it was in a different order.  Sophomore Nick Vena, who also won at Auburn, had the second-longest throw of his career at 62-0.50 to finish first.  Freshman Ashinia Miller posted the second-longest throw of his life (61-10.25) to take runner-up honors after finishing third last week.

    Junior Caleb Whitener, who was second at the War Eagle meet, took third in Des Moines after his fourth throw measured 60-9.50.

    “This was a strong 1-2-3 finish and it was great to see Ashinia and Nick going head-to-head for the win since they are both wearing red and black,” said Norton.

    After three finishes in the top three this season, senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier won her first meet of the 2013 outdoor campaign.  Atkinson-Grier cleared 5-10.50 on her opening try as she continues her pursuit for a strong finish in her final season.

    “Saniel’s mark was not super high, but to pick up a win here as a senior in her last trip to Drake was nice to see,” said Norton.  “The most important thing is that her jumps looked good.”

    The Georgia women left the competition behind in the 4x200-meter relay after winning by more than three seconds.  A trio of freshmen in Briana Vaughn, Shaunae Miller and Rashan Brown joined with sophomore Quintunya Chapman finished their race in 1:34.01 in their second race of this kind during the 2013 season.

    “Shaunae was pretty awesome in her leg and she was spectacular running in the 4x100 relay as well,” Norton said, adding that Brown was also a catalyst to the women’s impressive finish in the 4x200 relay.

    Despite a slower pace than she is used to, junior Megan Malasarte won her first 800 of the season by nearly .3 seconds.  Malasarte finished her two laps in 2:06.49 in her final race before the SEC meet.

    Sophomore Morgann Leleux was the only collegiate competitor to be included in the “London Games Rematch” pole vault and managed to tie for 10th place.  Leleux cleared 13-10.50 on her third and final attempt.

    The Lady Bulldogs finished with their second fastest 4x100 relay time of the year to qualify for Saturday’s finals.  Georgia had the top qualifying team out of 23 teams with a time of 44.88.  The Lady Bulldogs run in the finals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

    The Georgia men also qualified for the finals in the 4x100 after taking second in their heat and fourth overall.  Jamario Calhoun, Johnathan Smith, Pierce Vincent and Justin Scott-Wesley combined to clock a 40.49 and will race again five minutes after the women’s finals.

    In the men’s 100, Scott-Wesley had the fifth-fastest qualifying time (10.76) to qualify for the finals on Saturday at 3:28 p.m.
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    Tide Track & Field Competes at the Drake Relays

    Des Moines, Iowa – In front of a Drake Relays record Friday session crowd of 12,378, the University of Alabama’s young track and field team began competition on Friday at the 104th edition of the Drake Relays at Drake Stadium. The 2013 edition of the Drake Relays features nearly 8,000 track and field athletes of all ages convening in Des Moines for a full weekend of events. Of the total athletes competing this week, 2,019 are competing in the university and college division.

    Getting the action started early in the day on Friday, the 4x100 meter relay team of Alex Sanders, Diondre Batson, Akeem Haynes and anchored by Dushane Farrier qualified for Saturday’s final by winning their heat with a time of 40.34 – the third fastest time of the day. They will compete in the finals on Saturday at 3:35 p.m.

    The men’s relay teams continued to pace the Tide in the afternoon session, with the 4x400 meter relay team qualifying time of 3:08.46. Joel Lynch, Ken Taylor, Dwight Davis and Quincy Smith put together the fourth-best time in the field and were second in their heat. The four-man team has already had success this year, winning twice earlier in the season, at the Crimson Tide Invitational and the Spec Towns Invitational.

    Junior jumper Kamal Fuller of Kingston, Jamaica, set a new personal outdoor best in the long jump with a mark of 25-1 ¼, besting his previous record set at the Texas Relays during his 2011 freshman season. Fuller finished 4th, while teammate Nathan Vardaman garnered a 24th place finish, with a jump of 21-11 ½.

    The women’s 4x800 relay team placed 6th today with a time of  8:45.97. The team of Aubrielle Wright, Yanique Malcolm, Meropi Panagiotou and Kimberley Ficenec scored three points for the team, as the Drake Relays are a team scored meet.

    Rounding out the day’s action, the men’s 4x800 meter relay team of Alex LoPresti, Robbie Farnham-Rose, Andrew Harris and Alex Jenkins finished 6th with a time of 7:33.83.
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    Rebels Have Big Day Alongside World’s Elite At Drake Relays

    DES MOINES – Several Ole Miss athletes had personal-best marks and clocked strong qualifying times while lining up alongside the world’s best professional athletes on Friday at the Drake Relays.

    With 19 Olympic medalists and many other Olympians competing at the prestigious track meet, the Rebels received personal-best efforts in the men’s long jump and javelin and the women’s long jump.

    “I was pleased with our effort today,” Rebel head coach Brian O’Neal said. “Our performances are beginning to be indicative of what our training has been like. What I was really excited about was that in some adverse conditions our kids stepped up to the challenge and competed. The amount of wind that was here today greatly affected the sprints and relays, but I like the way we are stepping up and competing. I feel like this team is coming together to fight and compete for one another.”

    Junior Benjamin Lapane tossed a personal-best 219-1 in the javelin to place third. He remains third in school history and will move up in the national rankings after entering the weekend 42nd with his previous season best of 218-0.

    Sophomore Malcolm Davis recorded a personal best of 24-5 in the long jump to place seventh.

    The 16th-ranked Ole Miss men qualified for Saturday’s finals in three different events.

    Senior Isiah Young moved closer to defending his Drake Relays 100-meter title by clocking the top prelim time of 10.43.

    The Rebels’ 4x100 meter relay team of Robert Semien, Anthony Branch, Creighton Serrette and Young posted the second-best qualifying time of 40.28, while the 4x400 relay team of Dante Oliver, Montez Griffin, Serrette and Branch made the finals with the eighth-best prelim time of 3:10.40.

    Junior Allegra Wells shined for the Ole Miss women with a second-place finish in the women’s university long jump competition. She jumped a personal-best 20-5, which moves her up to No. 6 in school history. She was jumping alongside former Rebel Brittney Reese, the defending gold medalist, who turned in a world-leading 22-9.25 to win the event over a couple of fellow American pros.

    The Ole Miss women advanced to Saturday’s finals in three events.

    Taryn Hartfield was sixth among qualifiers in the 100-meter hurdles (14.15), Shari Russell claimed the eighth and final spot in the 100 meters (12.21), and the 4x100 relay squad of Kiannah Alexander, Russell, Monica Williams and Asia Cooper came in fifth among qualifying units (45.86).

    “As we’re getting ready for championship season, we qualified well and gave ourselves a chance to compete tomorrow and put another positive number on the board,” O’Neal said.