By Robbie Robertson
n Emanuel Mayers just wanted to top what he did last year. Not that placing 7th is bad. He just wanted to improve on that finish.
Friday evening in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles, he did just that.
In front of a record-setting crowd of 11,972 at Hayward Field and despite gusty winds that made for less-than-favorable conditions, the junior from Lakewood, N.J. , crossed the finish line at 51.39 en route to a sixth-place finish and the Bulldogs’ first points of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
As a result, he becomes the first MSU hurdler ever to garner back-to-back All-American honors. South Carolina’s Jonny Dutch won at 48.75.
“Last year was my first time and I was nervous,” he said following the race. “This year, I was more relaxed and knew what to expect.”
The three points he garnered weren’t the only ones on the day for State.
Following Mayers’ run, freshman sensation Tavaris Tate lived up to his billing in the 400-meter dash, finishing 5th with a time of 45.56. SEC champion Kirani James of Alabama won at 45.05.
Moments following the men’s 400, freshman Jody-Ann Muir turned in a time of 52.93 to finish sixth on the women’s side.
Like Mayers and Tate, she too had to battle the wind on the outside lanes, but she had enough endurance remaining to hold off the last three runners.
Today features three events for Mississippi State – Wendy Copeland in the long Jump at 11:30 a.m., the women’s 4×400 at 1:40 p.m. and the men’s 4×400 at 1:50 p.m.
Ole Miss freshman jumper Ricky Robertson finished in fifth place in the high jump with a height of 7-02.50 on his way to being name an NCAA All-American Friday at the NCAA Championships from Hayward Field.
Robertson tallied four points for the Rebels and leaves Ole Miss in 31st place overall entering the final day of competition.
Sopohomore Brian Knight took 18th in the high jump with a mark of 6-10.75.
On the women’s side, freshman Neal Tisher posted a new school record in the pole vault with a height of 13-01.50 on her way to a 15th place finish.