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Freshmen Lead Way at Fast and Fierce Day Two of NCAA Outdoor Championships - Ole Miss Athletics

Last updated: 06-09-2019

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Freshmen Lead Way at Fast and Fierce Day Two of NCAA Outdoor Championships - Ole Miss Athletics

– Ole Miss track & field concluded its 2019 outdoor season with a handful of stellar performances on the women's side at Day Two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Thursday. It was a historically fast day in Austin, but the Rebel freshmen still lit the track up with some eye-opening performances of their own. With no Rebels qualifying through to finals on Friday or Saturday, Thursday marks the end to a productive 2019 season that saw strong competition throughout the year – particularly from the impressive underclass. "It has been a long season, and I am proud of the way our team has competed this week," said Ole Miss head coach . "We have a lot to look forward to next year with all of our qualifiers except Lindsey (Murray) returning. I was so excited to see our underclassmen come here and perform without fear on the biggest stage, and it make me really happy for the future." Chief among them today were freshmen sprinters and in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, respectively. Presley – a Bixby, Oklahoma native who just two weeks ago shocked the formchart with an NCAA qualifying performance at the East Regional despite entering ranked No. 43 – took 12th overall for Second-Team All-American honors with a school record time of 11.24 (+0.5). Her time today tied eight-time All-American Teneeshia Jones' record of 11.24 (+0.5) set back in 2000. However, that blistering time still wasn't good enough to escape the semifinal round, as she would have needed to shatter the school record at 11.14 to even make the final on time. Presley nearly chased down Norfolk State's Kiara Grant (11.16) for the AQ spot in Heat Three, but ended up settling for third in the heat at her 11.24. "I just wanted to make sure I got out of the blocks good and keep my head down through the transition and just stay relaxed," Presley said. "I have a tendency to tighten up, so I just wanted to stay relaxed. Knowing that I was running with these type of girls, I knew it was going to be hard. I really wanted to get that spot, but it still feels good to PR." That time currently puts her No. 3 in the United States and No. 8 in the world among U20 athletes. Three of the world's top-eight U20 times came from Thursday's semifinal – including the world U20 leading time from LSU's Sha'Carri Richardson (10.99) – who became the first person in world U20 history to run a sub-11 in the 100 and sub-22.4 in the 200 in the same day. Presley, who was the first Rebel to qualify in the women's 100-meter since Jones in 2001, will be one of the top-ranked junior 100-meter runners at the U.S. Junior Championships later this summer. Eckford, meanwhile, had equally as impressive a performance in the women's 200-meter dash semifinals. The Clinton, Mississippi native entered with the wind-legal school record of 23.06 (+1.0, No. 2 all-time), and she bettered that today with a 23.00 into a 0.1 headwind. She finished third in the first heat and 11th overall for Second-Team All-American honors, but unbelievably still fell nearly a half second short of advancing to the final on time, as the final time qualifier spot clocked in at 22.65. Eckford's time today improves on her slot at No. 5 in the United States and No. 7 in the world among U20 athletes in the 200-meter, which also cements her spot as one of the top American junior sprinters at the U.S. Junior Championships. Both were members of the women's 4x100-meter relay alongside freshmen and junior , who all earned Second-Team status after finishing 12th at 43.54. The quartet, which has reset the school record twice in the last six weeks (most recently 43.45 at the NCAA East Regional), would have needed to needed to break it yet again as the final time qualifier accepted was a 43.35 from Oregon. Houston's 43.48 ranks tied for the fastest time to not qualify in the history of the NCAA Championships. Senior pole vaulter , a seven-time NCAA qualifier and the Ole Miss record holder both indoors and outdoors, ended her superb Rebel career with a Second-Team All-American finish after tying for 16th in a contentious competition. Murray would have needed to clear her school record of 4.35m (14-03.25) to advance to the next bar, and would have had to set a new record at 4.45m (14-07.25) to get in scoring position. Also competing on Thursday was sophomore in the 3000-meter steeplechase. The German native, who made the final of the U20 World Championships last summer for her home country, finished eighth in the first heat at 10:00.39, which was good for 16th place and Second-Team honors. The semifinal ranked as the fastest in NCAA meet history, which included a facility record 9:44.32 from two-time defending national champion Allie Ostrander of Boise State. With the collegiate season concluded, the focus now goes to the 2019 USATF U20 Outdoor Championships on June 21-23 in Miramar, Florida, and the USATF Outdoor Championships on July 25-28 in Des Moines, Iowa. – 200-Meter Dash, 11th Place – 4x100-Meter Relay, 12th Place – 100-Meter Dash, 12th Place – 4x100-Meter Relay, 12th Place – 4x100-Meter Relay, 12th Place – 4x100-Meter Relay, 12th Place – 3000-Meter Steeplechase, 16th Place – Pole Vault, T-16th Place – 800-Meter, 13th Place – Long Jump, 17th Place – 1500-Meter, 18th Place – 1500-Meter, 21st Place For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter ( @OleMissTrack ),  Facebook  and  Instagram

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