INDIANAPOLIS – Ole Miss track & field will once again send a large contingent to the regional meet, notching 36 total entries from 30 Rebel student-athletes at the upcoming 2023 NCAA East Region Preliminary Round Championships, this year held at the University of North Florida on May 24-27.
The Rebel women lead the way with 19 entries from 14 athletes, while the Rebel men tallied 17 entries from 16 athletes. Among those are a total of nine Ole Miss student-athletes competing in their first regional meet (eight men, one woman). A total of eight Rebels will be attempting at least a double (seven women, one man), with senior sprinter and SEC 200-meter champion McKenzie Long attempting a triple in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4×100-meter relay.
To qualify for this first round of the NCAA Championships, student-athletes must have finished the season ranked within the top-48 of their individual events or as a member of a top-24 relay team on their respective regional qualifying list (East or West), which was released by the NCAA on Thursday. The top-12 athletes in the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon in the East and West automatically receive entry to the national meet.
From there, the top-12 finishers in each event at each regional meet advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held this year at the University of Texas on June 7-10.
The 36 total regional entries for Ole Miss ranks as the second-most in school history, trailing only the record 43 set by the 2021 Rebel squad. In eight years at Ole Miss, head coach Connie Price-Smith has averaged 30.7 athletes and 34.4 entries at the regional meet, and from there she has sent an average of 12.2 athletes and 10.7 entries to the national meet.
In her Ole Miss tenure, she has mentored three NCAA Outdoor Champions (Raven Saunders, shot put, 2016; Janeah Stewart, hammer, 2018; Sintayehu Vissa, 1500-meter, 2022), 61 outdoor First or Second-Team All-Americans (39 women, 22 men) and brought the Rebels four national top-25 team finishes outdoors – with the Rebel men tying for 14th in 2017 and the women tying for 19th in 2022, finishing 20th in 2018 and 22nd in 2016.
Competition runs May 24-27 at UNF’s Visit Jax Track at Hodges Stadium, with the action set to stream live each evening on ESPN+.
Rebel Women’s Qualifiers (19 entries, 14…
CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at Ole Miss Athletics…