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Arop wins silver medal to lead MSU men's track and field team


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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Marco Arop finished second in the 800 meters Sunday to lead the Mississippi State men's track and field team at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships. 


Arop broke his MSU freshman record with a time of 1 minute, 47.45 seconds. Among Canadians, Arop is second only to former Bulldog and 2016 SEC champion Brandon McBride this year. 


"I knew (Texas A&M's) Dixon would go out fast, so I told him to stay on the gas," MSU coach Steve Dudley said. "If he'd gone any slower Ole Miss would've outkicked him. That's how we want to run it, fast early on so we don't have to worry about anyone having a kick." 


The Bulldogs scored a point in the men's 4x100m relay, but lost Ro'Derick Spears along the way. Running the anchor leg, he pulled up with a tight hamstring and didn't run the 110 hurdles final. MSU also scored in the 4x400 relay as part of an 11th-place finish (39 points). 


n On Saturday, Spears broke a 15-year-old school record in the 110 hurdles. His wind-legal time of 13.65 replaces Kelvin Harris' 2003 mark of 13.73. 


n The Ole Miss men finished first in two events to claim a ninth-place finish (43 points). 


Senior Robert Domanic, the top 1,500-meter runner in the United States this season, kept the Ole Miss streak alive in the 1,500, winning his first-career outdoor title at 3:45.84 to make it three straight Rebel men wins in the event (joining Craig Engels' wins in 2016 and 2017). 


Senior All-American Brian Williams defended his title in the discus, winning by 16 feet at 59.87m (196-5). 


Freshman Peyton Weissmann cleared a half-foot PR to finish fifth in the pole vault. Weissmann became just the fourth member of the Ole Miss 17-foot club, clearing 5.20m (17-3/4 on his first attempt.  


Waleed Suliman, the fastest freshman nationally in the 800, took sixth (1:49.29).  


All told, the Rebel men's and women's freshmen scored 30 total points. 


n Alabama wrapped up the meet with two conference champions, six All-SEC performances and a school record. 


Junior Shelby McEwen won the high jump with a personal best-equaling clearance of 7-4 ½ (2.25m). McEwen is the first Alabama jumper to win the SEC high jump title since Thomas McCants in 1985. 


Junior Vincent Kiprop won his second individual title of the weekend with a victory in the 5,000. Kiprop outsprinted Kentucky's Jacob Thomson down the homestretch to finish in 13:48.49 to give the Kericho, Kenya, native the league titles in the 5,000- and 10,000. 


Also earning All-SEC honors on Sunday were juniors Keitavious Walter and Kord Ferguson in the 200 and in the discus. 


Ferguson finished second in the discus with a throw of 193-8 (59.05m) to give the Tide a medalist in the event for the third year in a row. Walter finished third in the 200 in a personal best -- and Alabama season best -- time of 20.33. 


The performances propelled the Crimson Tide men to a fourth place finish in the team standings, giving UA a third-consecutive top-five finish at the conference outdoor meet for the first time since a run of three in a row from 1989-91. 


Florida captured the men's team title with 111 points. Texas A&M was second with 100, followed by Arkansas (99), Alabama (97.66) and Georgia (71). 


n On Saturday, junior Kord Ferguson finished sixth in the shot put with a mark of 62-10 ¾ (19.17m). The mark ranks No. 6 all-time at Alabama and gives the Ottawa, Kansas, native five of the top-10 efforts in school history.



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