Rebel Men No. 8, Women No. 20 in Week Three USTFCCCA Rankings

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 9, 2021

NEW ORLEANS – Ole Miss men’s and women’s track & field remained in the national top-25 for the second consecutive week, with the Rebel men coming in at No. 8 and the women No. 20 in the Week Three USTFCCCA Rating Index released Monday.


Ole Miss fell two spots to No. 8 in the men’s rankings after snaring a program record No. 6 ranking in Week Two. However, this week’s No. 8 slot still sits as the second-best indoors in men’s program history, with the previous indoor high being No. 16 in the 2014 Preseason rankings. This marks the 32nd appearance in the indoor poll for the Rebel men since it began in 2008.

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This is also the 32nd time appearing in the indoor index for the Rebel women, who fell two spots to No. 20 in Week Three. Additionally, this is the 24th appearance under sixth-year head coach Connie Price-Smith, and the ninth ranking in the last 10 releases after the Ole Miss women were ranked for the entirety of the 2020 indoor regular season.


The only new addition for the Rebel men this week was Joseph Benedetto’s performance in the weight throw last weekend at South Carolina of 20.85m (68-05.00), currently the 20th-best nationally and the second-best throw in school history.


Otherwise, Ole Miss is still leaning heavily on several superb times and marks from the Razorback Invite two weeks ago. Leading the charge is the distance medley relay quartet of Waleed Suliman, Baylor Franklin, Everett Smulders and Mario Garcia Romo, who own the third-best time in the NCAA and second-best in program history at 9:30.62 – good for 19.41 points in the index. In that same heat at Arkansas, No. 1 Oregon broke the world record at 9:19.42.


All four of those Rebels are also contributing individually as well. Smulders became the fourth Rebel member of the sub-four club in the mile at Arkansas with a time of 3:58.93, which currently ranks No. 8 in the NCAA and made him the 565th American to ever break the iconic barrier. Garcia Romo dismantled the school record in the 3K, running a 17-second PR of 7:48.40 to break Robert Domanic’s 2016 record by six seconds, which currently ranks No. 5 nationally.


Franklin, meanwhile, also ranks fifth nationally at his latest PR in the 800-meter of 1:48.59 from Arkansas. Suliman ranks ninth nationally in the 3K at his career-best 7:54.57, which would have been a school record if not for Garcia Romo’s historic time.


Other men’s distance runners contributing are Smulders in the 800-meter (eighth, 1:48.75) and Cole Bullock in the 3K (16th, 8:00.13).


All-American senior jumper Allen Gordon is also chipping in following two strong season-best performances at Arkansas. His high jump mark of 2.19m (7-02.25) puts him at No. 6, while his long jump best of 7.72m (25-04.00) ranks eighth nationally.


The Rebel women, meanwhile, are led by a throws crew that currently hold five NCAA top-50 marks. All-American sophomore Jasmine Mitchell leads the way in fifth at 21.57m (70-09.25), and senior All-American Shey Taiwo joins her in the top-10 in seventh after her season-opening toss of 21.43m (70-03.75) at South Carolina last week. Other Rebel women’s weight throwers contributing are Jalani Davis (14th, 20.82m/68-03.75) and Deborah Bulai (34th, 19.56m/64-02.25).


Junior Tedreauna Britt is also chipping in after a career day in the shot put at South Carolina. Britt currently ranks 14th at 16.33m (53-07.00), the third-best throw in school history that made her just the third Rebel to break the 53-foot plateau indoors behind Olympian Raven Saunders (19.56m/64-02.25) and All-American Janeah Stewart (17.63m/57-10.25).


Rebel newcomer Sintayehu Vissa’s Ole Miss career open in the 800-meter of 2:06.45 still ranks highly, currently sitting 13th in the NCAA. Her time from Arkansas two weeks ago is the best by a Rebel since 2017 and ranks fourth all-time at Ole Miss.


Three others from the Rebel women’s distance squad are contributing: senior Anna Elkin the 5K (14th, 16:21.83), senior Maddie King in the mile (24th, school-record 4:43.44) and senior Victoria Simmons in the 5K (30th, 17:07.22).


Two Rebel women’s pole vaulters are also ranked, with sophomore Lyndsey Reed sitting 18th (4.15m/13-07.25) and freshman Samara McConnell 33rd (4.08m/13-04.50). McConnell leads all SEC freshmen and ranks sixth nationally among freshmen.


Also in the mix are junior sprinters Brandee Presley in the 60-meter dash (23rd, 7.35) and Jayda Eckford in the 200-meter dash (35th, 23.88).


Ole Miss will compete at Vanderbilt’s Music City Classic this Saturday (Feb. 13).


No. 8 Rebel Men • USTFCCCA Week 3 Rating Index • 94.54 Points

3. Distance Medley Relay (Suliman, Franklin, Smulders, Garcia Romo) – 9:30.62 – 19.41 Points

5. Mario Garcia Romo – 3K – 7:48.40 – 13.87 Points

5. Baylor Franklin – 800-Meter – 1:48.59 – 13.17 Points

6. Allen Gordon – High Jump – 2.19m (7-02.25) – 11.20 Points

8. Everett Smulders – 800-Meter – 1:48.75 – 9.04 Points

8. Everett Smulders – Mile – 3:58.93 – 8.94 Points

8. Allen Gordon – Long Jump – 7.72m (25-04.00) – 8.79 Points

9. Waleed Suliman – 3K – 7:54.57 – 7.87 Points

16. Cole Bullock – 3K – 8:00.13 – 1.54 Points

20. Joseph Benedetto – Weight Throw – 20.85m (68-05.00) – 0.72 Points


No. 20 Rebel Women • USTFCCCA Week 3 Rating Index • 36.32 Points

5. Jasmine Mitchell – Weight Throw – 21.57m (70-09.25) – 13.43 Points

7. Shey Taiwo – Weight Throw – 21.43m (70-03.75) – 10.17 Points

13. Sintayehu Vissa – 800-Meter – 2:06.45 – 5.54 Points

14. Anna Elkin – 5K – 16:21.83 – 2.36 Points

14. Jalani Davis – Weight Throw – 20.82m (68-03.75) – 2.32 Points

14. Tedreauna Britt – Shot Put – 16.33m (53-07.00) – 2.28 Points

18. Lyndsey Reed – Pole Vault – 4.15m (13-07.25) – 1.04 Points

23. Brandee Presley – 60-Meter Dash – 7.35 – 0.61 Points

24. Maddie King – Mile – 4:43.44 – 0.47 Points

30. Victoria Simmons – 5K – 17:07.22 – 0.05 Points

33. Samara McConnell – Pole Vault – 4.08m (13-04.50) – 0.02 Points

34. Deborah Bulai – Weight Throw – 19.56m (64-02.25) – 0.02 Points

35. Jayda Eckford – 200-Meter Dash – 23.88 – 0.01 Points


For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.