Waleed Suliman Clocks Olympic Trial Standard Amid Powerful Conclusion to Joe Walker Invite
Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2021
OXFORD, Miss. – All-American senior Waleed Suliman put a bow on what was an extraordinary weekend of competition for the Rebels, becoming the first American to eclipse the U.S. Olympic Trials standard in the men’s 1500-meter at the conclusion of the Joe Walker Invite on Saturday.
Suliman – who became a U.S. citizen in late 2019 after spending his childhood across Sudan, Jordan and Virginia – was part of a top-billing invitational men’s 1500-meter that headlined an already-stacked Joe Walker Invite field. Suliman stayed on the heels of pacesetter and teammate Baylor Franklin, who brought the herd through in 1:39 through 700 meters. Once Franklin peeled off, Suliman and Mario Garcia Romo took charge, with Suliman dropping the hammer via a 55.48 final lap and a 1:56 final 800.
He crossed the line at a two-second PR of 3:36.53, a new facility record that dismantled Olympian Alistair Cragg’s 2004 record of 3:40.18 while he was at Arkansas. In fact, all eight of the top times – all in the sixth heat – would have broken Cragg’s previous record, a testament to the caliber of talent running in Oxford this weekend.
For Suliman, his time marks the first by an American outdoors this year to break the 3:37.50 U.S. Olympic Trials standard. Furthermore, he currently ranks second in the NCAA and moves up to second all-time behind Robert Domanic’s 2018 school record of 3:36.33 that ranked ninth in NCAA history at the time.
Fellow All-American Mario Garcia Romo dropped a monster PR as the runner-up to Suliman, clocking a seven-second career-best of 3:37.17 to move into third all-time and third in the NCAA, both behind Suliman. Other PRs in the men’s 1500 included Everett Smulders in 15th place (3:42.86, No. 8 all-time, No. 22 NCAA) and Nick Moulai in 30th place (3:46.72).
Skylar Boogerd and Clio Ozanne-Jaques provided a steady presence for Ole Miss in the invitational women’s 5K, with Boogerd taking runner up at the fifth-best time in school history at 16:22.58. Ozanne-Jaques, in her first race on the track since May of 2019, was in command for much of the race, but was tracked down by South Dakota State’s Leah Hansen (16:18.80, facility record) and Boogerd, taking third at 16:25.95 following an impressive return to action. Cate Tracht (sixth, 16:42.83, No. 14 all-time) and Ryann Helmers (seventh, 16:44.31, No. 15 all-time) also recorded top-15 times.
All-American jumper Allen Gordon completed yet another sweep of the jumps, doing so Saturday in impressive fashion. Gordon claimed the high jump at a solid winning height of 2.11m (6-11.00), but it was in the triple jump where he shined. He won on a PR leap of 15.29m/50-02.00 (+1.0), the 13th-best in school history.
With his triple jump mark Saturday, Gordon is currently the only jumper in the NCAA to have cleared seven feet in the high jump (season-best: 2.15m/7-00.50), 25’ 3.5” in the long jump (season-best: 7.71m/25-03.50) and 50’ 2” in the triple jump (season-best: 15.29m/50-02.00).
Ole Miss had considerable success in the women’s sprints on Saturday as well, winning four event titles. Senior Kieshonna Brooks had one final day to remember at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex with another first-place finish, clocking a season best 13.59 (+1.3) to win the 100-meter hurdles.
Brooks was also the third leg on the Rebel women’s 4×100-meter relay alongside Brandee Presley, Jayda Eckford and Toni Glatz, which emerged victorious at 44.68. Eckford, Presley and Glatz joined forces with senior Orianna Shaw to take the win in the 4×400-meter relay at 3:45.81.
Freshman Olivia Womack impressed in the 100-meter dash, winning on a PR of 11.88.
The Rebel women’s throwers once again flooded the top of the standings with four top-10 finishes. Tedreauna Britt led the way with a second-place finish in the discus, topping out at 52.23m/171-04. Her teammate, Jalani Davis, shattered her career best mark with a 51.92m/170-04 throw, placing the freshman No. 5 all-time in program history. On the men’s side, Daniel Viveros also cracked the school’s all-time list in the discus with a throw of 50.84m/166-09 to finish runner-up.
Ole Miss also closed out two grueling days of competition in the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon. Pierce Genereux and Peyton Lowery finished the decathlon in first (5815) and second (5604) place, respectively, putting them both in the school’s all-time top-10 list for the series of events. In the women’s heptathlon, Sara Van Aken finished third overall with a total of 4844 points, ranking No. 11 all-time in program history.
The action-packed weekend was highlighted by six new facility records (men’s 800-meter, men’s 1500-meter, men’s and women’s steeplechase, men’s and women’s 5K), as well as numerous times and marks that should qualify many student-athletes for the NCAA Regionals. Ole Miss also paid homage to 18 Rebel seniors on Saturday: Kieshonna Brooks, James Burnett, Cole Colozzo, Anna Elkin, Toni Glatz, Lexi King, Maddie King, Emma McClellan, Clio Ozanne-Jaques, Nicole Rice, Griffin Riley, Orianna Shaw, Victoria Simmons, Robinson Snider, Waleed Suliman, Ylvi Traxler, Lisa Vogelgesang and Alvin Westbrook.
The Rebels will be back in action this coming weekend (April 16-17) when they travel to Gainesville to take part in Florida’s Tom Jones Classic.
REBELS IN COMPETITION
Men’s 100-Meter Dash
3. Isaiah Teer – 10.50 – PR
Women’s 100-Meter Dash
1. Olivia Womack – 11.88 – PR
4. Kelly Rowe – 11.98
Men’s 400-Meter Dash
9. Alvin Westbrook – 49.83
Women’s 400-Meter Dash
2. Orianna Shaw – 55.29
4. Toni Glatz – 56.10
34. Makayla Fick – 2:16.65
1. Waleed Suliman – 3:36.53 – PR, U.S. Olympic Trials Standard, Facility Record, No. 2 all-time, No. 2 NCAA
2. Mario Garcia Romo – 3:37.17 – PR, No. 3 all-time, No. 3 NCAA
15. Everett Smulders – 3:42.86 – PR, No. 8 all-time, No. 22 NCAA
30. Nick Moulai – 3:46.72 – PR
31. Dalton Hengst – 3:46.77
2. Skylar Boogerd – 16:22.58 – PR, No. 5 all-time
3. Clio Ozanne-Jaques – 16:25.95
6. Cate Tracht – 16:42.83 – PR, No. 14 all-time
7. Ryann Helmers – 16:44.31 – PR, No. 15 all-time
20. Nicole Rice – 17:28.04
25. Brooke Gilmore – 17:43.26
Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles
3. Kenney Broadnax – 14.45 (+1.2)
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles
1. Kieshonna Brooks – 13.59 (+1.3) – SB
Women’s 4×100-Meter Relay
1. Presley, Eckford, Brooks, Glatz – 44.68
Women’s 4×400-Meter Relay
1. Shaw, Eckford, Presley, Glatz – 3:45.81
Men’s High Jump
1. Allen Gordon – 2.11m/6-11.00
2. Ukurugenzi Kojo – 2.01m/6-07.00
Men’s Triple Jump
1. Allen Gordon – 15.29m/50-02.00 (+1.0) – PR, No. 13 all-time, No. 48 NCAA
2. Demond Fleming – 14.59m/47-10.25 (+1.2)
3. Cory Meek – 13.34m/43-09.25 (+4.7)
Women’s Triple Jump
2. Kyla McLaurin – 11.58m/38-00.00 (+1.2)
3. Tyra Weathersby – 10.98m/36-00.50 (-0.1)
Men’s Discus Throw
2. Daniel Viveros – 50.84m/166-09 – PR, No. 9 all-time
Women’s Discus Throw
2. Tedreauna Britt – 52.23m/171-04
3. Jalani Davis – 51.92m/170-04 – PR, No. 5 all-time, No. 49 NCAA
5. Jasmine Mitchell – 49.00m/160-09
9. Shey Taiwo – 45.86m/150-05
11. Deborah Bulai – 44.35m/145-06
Sara Van Aken – 3rd place, 4844 points, No. 11 all-time
Long Jump – 1st place, 5.67m/18-07.25 (+2.6), 750 points – PR
Javelin – 2nd place, 32.82m/107-08, 530 points
800m – 5th place, 2:35.92, 621 points
Meg Goebel – 6th place, 4400 points
Long Jump – 5th place, 5.08m/16-08.00 (+0.6), 581 points – PR
Javelin – 8th place, 23.67m/77-08, 357 – PR
800m – 7th place, 2:42.60, 543 points
Pierce Genereux – 1st place, 5815 points, No. 8 all-time
110m Hurdles – 1st place, 16.44 (+0.9), 684 points – PR
Discus – 1st place, 33.11m/108-07, 526 points – PR
Pole Vault – 1st place, 4.40m/14-05.25, 731 points
Javelin – 1st place, 42.76m/140-03, 482 points
1500m – 2nd place, 5:14.63, 478 points
Peyton Lowery – 2nd place, 5604 points, No. 9 all-time
110m Hurdles – 2nd place, 17.43 (+0.9), 580 points – PR
Discus – 2nd place, 32.59m/106-11, 516 points – PR
Pole Vault – 2nd place, 3.70m/12-01.50, 535 points
Javelin – 2nd place, 35.21m/115-06, 373 points
1500m – 1st place, 5:11.39, 496 points