Reese, three other Rebs at Olympic trials

Brittney Reese is trying again. Most of the time in the past when she's tried, she's succeeded.

This time the stage has gotten even bigger. This time she's trying to get to Beijing.

It's the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are already underway in Eugene, Ore. The Gulfport native is scheduled to compete in the long jump Monday night. Reese is the top-ranked female long jumper in the nation as she holds the world's furthest mark of the year at 22-09.00. She won the recent outdoor NCAA Championship in the long jump with her top mark and defeated her closest competition by 11 inches to earn All-American honors. She had won the NCAA Indoor title earlier this spring.

"Brittney's an incredibly talented athlete, and we're blessed to have someone like her represent us at Ole Miss and in Mississippi," said veteran Rebel track head coach Joe Walker. "Now she could represent her country in The Olympics. Hopefully her special year continues."

To qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team, competitors must finish in the top three of their respective event.

Three other Ole Miss student-athletes are competing in the trials at the University of Oregon. Joining Reese are Lady Rebel sprinters Kenyata Coleman and LaJada Baldwin. The duo is slated to take part in the 400 meters today. Coleman finished in fifth place at the NCAA Championships in the 400 meters with a time of 51.81 on her way to her selection as an All-American. Prior to the finals, Coleman set a new school record with a time of 51.67 in the semifinals. Baldwin, who was also an All-American selection in the 400 meters, finished in 11th place in the event with a time of 53.17.

John Yarbrough rounds out the Ole Miss competitors and will take part in the 110 meter hurdles Sat., July 5. Yarbrough is ranked ninth in the nation in the event as he owns a top time of 13.62 he set earlier in the year at the Florida Relays.

"For all of these four to be able to represent Ole Miss at the Olympic trials is special," Walker said. "Hopefully they will be able to perform at the highest level when the time comes. We're very proud of them to be able to get to this point."

Former Ole Miss standouts Antwon Hicks and Chris Lawson will also compete in the Olympic Trails for a spot on the U.S. Team. Lawson is slated to take part in the 200, while Hicks will participate in the 110 meter hurdles.


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