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Ole Miss to be Well-Represented in Rio

Ole Miss track and field will be represented in a big way as the world's attention turns to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. A school-record seven members of the Rebel family will compete at the Games while Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith will serve as the head coach for the U.S. women's track and field squad.

"It's an exciting time for me as the head coach of the US Olympic Team," Price-Smith said. "It's exciting to be the head coach of athletes that are actually going to the Olympics with me." 

Two current Rebels, sophomore Raven Saunders and volunteer assistant coach Gwen Berry, will don a different red and blue as they represent the United States of America this summer. Saunders, who holds the all-time indoor and outdoor collegiate records in the event, will be the first Rebel to compete in the shot put at the Olympics. Berry, a three-time All-American thrower during her college career at Southern Illinois, will be the first Rebel to compete in the hammer throw at the Olympics. 

"I'm excited," Saunders said. "It doesn't feel any different because I don't want it to change my work ethic at all."

That work ethic helped propel Saunders to the 2016 NCAA title in the shot put during the outdoor season. She set the goal to make the Olympics early on and worked towards it all year.

"After how freshman year went and seeing how much more I had to improve on along with coming down to Ole Miss and having a few more resources, I knew that I would be capable of a lot more," Saunders said. "Every practice going in, I was going in super hyped. This was in September, I was screaming about going to the Olympics on every throw." 

Berry will once again be competing for a Price-Smith squad as she did during her collegiate career at Southern Illinois after serving as an assistant coach at Ole Miss this season. 

"It's a good feeling," Berry said. "I had confidence in myself that I would make the team. I wasn't as happy as everyone else probably because I didn't have my greatest performance (to qualify), but I'm grateful."

For Berry, the student-athletes at Ole Miss have helped her stay motivated during training while she passed on knowledge of her own to them. 

"I train with them as much as possible," Berry said. "The students listen. They take in everything you say. You give them advice, and they keep you motivated. I'm 27. (Raven) is 20. If she can make it, I need to make it too. We motivate each other."

The Olympics kick off for Price-Smith and the seven Rebels with the opening ceremony on August 5. 

"Ole Miss has great tradition. One of my goals when I came here was to keep building on that tradition," Price-Smith said. "It's great to go and represent the United States and Ole Miss at the same time."

T&F Rebels in Rio - Event - Years at Ole Miss

Gwen Berry (USA) - women's hammer throw - 2016

Antwon Hicks (Nigeria) - men's 100-meter hurdles - 2002-05

Sam Kendricks (USA) - men's pole vault - 2012-14

Brittney Reese (USA) - women's long jump - 2007-08

Ricky Robertson (USA) - men's high jump - 2010-14

Raven Saunders (USA) - women's shot put - 2016

Khadijah Suleman (Nigeria) - women's 4x100 relay - 2015-16


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Recent Comments

    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

    in post Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

    in post Heisman House Tour Heads to Oxford for Ole Miss-Georgia

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