NASHVILLE, TN (WLBT) - Ole Miss track & field kept the momentum going after a strong season opener last week at UAB, excelling with several strong performances at Day One of the Vanderbilt Invite on Friday night.
Chief among them was sophomore Shey Taiwo, who solidified herself as a national player in the women’s weight throw after a demonstrative showing Friday. Taiwo finished as the top collegian in third place, throwing a two-foot PR of 21.47m (70-05.25) to put her at No. 6 on the NCAA list and No. 7 overall in the United States this season. Taiwo broke the 20-meter barrier four times this evening after having done so just four times total in her career entering competition.
Senior Annika Larsson just missed out on the competitive final in 10th place, but she put up a big career best of 18.17m (59-07.50), a three-foot PR that puts her at No. 6 all-time at Ole Miss.
Former Rebel and NCAA Champion Janeah Stewart opened her first post-collegiate season in a big way, winning at the 10th-best throw in world history at 24.17m (79-03.75), a new career-best that puts her in the U.S. lead. Rebel volunteer coach Jeneva Stevens finished second behind Stewart at a season-best 23.42m (76-10.00), currently third-best on the U.S. list this year.
Ole Miss also had an excellent day in both editions of the long jump. On the men’s side, sophomore Allen Gordon (second, 7.69m/25-02.75) and junior Manny Foster (fifth, 7.64m/25-00.75) both had career days within the top-five for the Rebels. Gordon set a new indoor career best at his distance, pushing him into a tie for sixth all-time at Ole Miss and No. 8 on the NCAA list, while Foster recorded an overall career best at his mark, putting him ninth all-time at No. 11 on the NCAA season list.
On the women’s side, junior Kieshonna Brooks set a massive new PR by nearly one foot at 6.18m (20-03.50) to finish third overall, surpassing her previous indoor best of 5.91m (19-04.75). Her leap today puts her No. 7 in Ole Miss history and No. 10 on the NCAA list.
The Rebel sprints crew kept their pace up this week as well with a couple solid showings in the first 200-meter dashes of the season. In the women’s 200, freshmen Jayda Eckford and Kelly Rowe both posted top-five finishes in their first collegiate 200-meter dashes, with Eckford finishing runner-up at 24.48 and Rowe fourth at 24.61.
Sophomore Elijah Dryer took third overall in the men’s edition, winning his heat at a new indoor career-best 21.66.
Also finishing within the top-five was junior Cole Colozzo, who finished fourth in the men’s pole vault at 4.95m (16-02.75), just two inches off his indoor best of 5.00m (16-04.75).
The Rebels will return for Day Two of the Vanderbilt Invite tomorrow morning, with competition resuming at 10 a.m. CT.
Other Notable Performances:
Women’s 200-Meter Dash:
15. Orianna Shaw – 25.10 – PR
32. T’Aja Cameron – 25.40 – PR
Men’s 200-Meter Dash:
19. Andrew Raspo – 22.26
Women’s High Jump
14. Ghania Warren – 1.65m (5-05.00)
Women’s Weight Throw
23. Tedreauna Britt – 16.89m (55-05.00) – 5-foot PR, 9th all-time
26. Leah Klein – 16.25m (53-03.75) – PR, 14th all-time
Men’s Weight Throw:
6. Joseph Benedetto – 17.74 (58-2.50)
8. Chris Long – 17.49m (57-4.75)