Rebels start strong at Clash

Published 6:03 am Sunday, January 24, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The first day of the Conference Clash indoor track meet at the Birmingham CrossPlex produced quite a few strong results for the Ole Miss Rebels.

One school record fell, and nine Rebels achieved personal bests as they stayed warm inside and away the blistery and snowy conditions that swept through the area Friday.

Ole Miss is one of eight Southeastern Conference schools competing against seven non-SEC Power Five teams. At the conclusion of day one, the SEC teams lead the “Power Four” group 52-49.

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“Being at such a high-level meet, I was proud to see that our athletes showed up and did not back down today,” head coach Connie Price-Smith said. “We had a lot of personal bests and I thought our kids fought hard against really strong competition. I’m excited to see how we come out tomorrow.”

In the final running event of the night, the women’s distance medley relay finished strong to break the school record with a time of 11:28.27. The quartet of Britt Ummels, Jolie Carbo, Leanne Zimmer and Shelby Brown came through with a better time than any previous quartet in school history, with most of the other times coming at SEC Championships and other meets later in the regular season.

Sophomore Raven Saunders, the reigning SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week who owns the No. 1 shot put in the world, came out strong in the weight throw on Friday. She threw back-to-back personal bests during the finals, punctuated by a huge toss of 19.95m/65-5.5 to win the meet and move her up to No. 2 in school history. She entered the weekend ranked 21st in the NCAA with her previous top mark of 19.61m/64-4.

Sophomore Lindsey Murray cleared a season-best height of 4.06m/13-3.75 to claim third place in the women’s pole vault.