The record-breaking men’s and women’s track and field teams will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the 2021 Indoor SEC Championships this week from Feb. 25- 27.
Both Rebel teams are heading to the tournament nationally ranked. The men landed in the No. 10 slot in Week Five of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings, and the women sit at No. 21. The Rebels have ranked in the top 25 in the indoor rankings 34 times since the polls began in 2008.
In rankings this season, the Rebel men have remained in the top 10 for four consecutive weeks. The team’s No. 6 rank during Week Two is the highest any Ole Miss team has seen across both genders and indoor, outdoor and cross country seasons. Meanwhile, the women saw the polls for the 26th time during week two and were ranked throughout the entire 2020 regular indoor season.
Ole Miss track and field has won 42 total SEC Indoor titles with the men winning 33 and the women winning 9. For individuals, Ole Miss totals 59 SEC Champions with 51 men and 9 women.
Notable team leaders for the men this season include All-American senior Waleed Suliman, junior Mario Garcia Romo, senior Everett Smulders and junior Baylor Franklin. In their last relay race, they finished with a time of 9:30.62, placing at No. 4 in the NCAA. In the mile category, four sub-four-minute Ole Miss runners sit in the top-25 of the NCAA, including Suliman with a time of 3:55.60, Garcia Romo with 3:56.46, Smulders with 3:58.73 and Franklin with 3:59.12.
In jumps, All-American senior Allen Gordon sits in the No. 8 spot nationally and No. 6 spot in the SEC for his season-best long jump of 7.72 meters. Junior Joseph Benedetto recorded new personal records in weight throwing, while sophomore shot putter Daniel Viveros enters the championship as No. 7 in the SEC for his 17.88 meters.
For the women, notable leaders include the NCAA’s No.1 weight throw squad with All-American senior Shey Taiwo, reigning SEC runner-up Jasmine Mitchell and sophomore Jalani Davis. In running, senior Anna Elkin took down the reigning women’s mile record, only to be reset by sophomore Loral Winn the next week with a 4:45.60 and again by Maddie King at the South Carolina Invite with a 4:43:44.
In the pole vault category, freshman Samara McConnell leads the Rebels with a career-best of 4.20 meters, ranking her the top freshman in the SEC.
Competing in the men’s championship will be ranked SEC teams such as No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 9 Georgia, No. 12 Tennessee, No. 15 Alabama, No. 16 Texas A&M and No. 17 Kentucky.. In the women’s, competitors include No. 1 Arkansas, No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 4 Georgia, No. 6 LSU, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 13 Alabama and No. 17 Tennessee.
The three-day tournament will be aired on the SEC Network+. Day One will start at 10 a.m. on Feb. 25. On Day Two, competition will take place from 11:55 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5:25 p.m. to 9 p.m.. For the final day on Feb. 27, competition is from 12:25 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5:55 to 8 p.m.