JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ole Miss men’s track & field earned three more entries into the outdoor national meet after great quarterfinal races on Day Three of the NCAA East Region Preliminary Round on Friday.
The winds were howling all day long at North Florida’s Hodges Stadium, but that did little to stop the three Rebel seniors Friday who booked passage to Texas for the NCAA Championships.
Senior Ahmad Young Jr. got things started for Ole Miss early in the evening in the men’s 110-meter hurdles quarterfinal. Young punched his first career national ticket – indoors or outdoors – by snagging one of the three time qualifier spots after finishing fourth in Heat One at 13.62 (+5.8). Young is now the sixth Rebel to ever qualify in the 110-meter hurdles, the first since Kenney Broadnax did so in 2021.
Ole Miss booked a double-ticket in the men’s 800-meter thanks to two brilliant late kicks by All-American seniors Baylor Franklin and Tiarnan Crorken.
Franklin was up first in Heat Two, and he was sitting in last place with around 250 meters to go when he unleashed his well-known kick and started to track down the rest of the field. Franklin split 54.51 over his final lap, including a blistering final 200 of 25.9 seconds to win the heat at 1:51.48 and secure his third straight outdoor national ticket in the 800-meter.
Overall in his career, this is his fifth national ticket across the indoor and outdoor seasons. This past indoor season, Franklin earned his first career NCAA points with a First-Team All-America finish in the 800-meter in sixth place.
In the third and final heat, Crorken found himself in a similar situation. He was trailing even later than Franklin was when he kicked, waiting until the last 100 meters to go from last place to third for an auto qualifier ticket to Austin at 1:50.01.
This is Crorken’s third career NCAA berth but his first outdoors after missing the 2022 outdoor season due to injury. In his two NCAA Indoor meets, he’s come away with First-Team All-America honors in both of his events, earning NCAA runner-up on the Rebel distance medley relay team back in March, while also finishing fifth in the 800-meter indoors in 2022.
Overall, the Ole Miss men end with five total entries to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, with the three tickets today joining two by freshman
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