Ironton native McKenzie Long wins 3 NCAA Div. 1 championship track events for Ole Miss women

Published 11:56 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

By Jim Walker

Long made short work of her races.

McKenzie Long

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Mississippi Rebels’ McKenzie Long was a 3-time NCAA champion as she won the 100-meter dash, the 200 meters and was on the winning 4×100 relay team.

A red-shirt senior, Long is a native of Ironton who ran track for the Ironton Middle School before moving to Pickerington.

Long ran a 10.82 seconds to win the 100, 21.83 to win the 200 meters and 4×100 really posted 42.34 seconds clocking.

Her time in the 200 meters is the second fastest time in women’s college history and the 24th fastest time in world track and field history.

The relay team of Akilah Lewis, Gabrielle Matthews, Jahniya Bowers and Long  combined for the 18th fastest time in women’s college history.

Long admitted the success was rewarding but exhausting.

“Yes, I was tired,” Long said after the races. “My legs are tired but I just told myself, ‘This is your last.’ So, I just pushed through.”

Mississippi’s win in the 4×100 relay was the first time in school history.

Long only had a 50-minute rest after the relay before she ran in the 200 meters. She believed her mother, Tara Jones who died this past indoor season, had a hand in the win.

“You usually have to fix your blocks before you get into your lane. But the 100 is the event where I’m les comfortable in compared to the 200,” said Long.

“When I went out there and the block was already in my settings, I was shook. I was like mom, this is instantly you. That’s never happened to me before.”

Ole Miss finished fifth place in the team standings, its best performance in the program’s history.

Long originally signed with North Carolina State before transferring to Ol’ Miss. She is just one of six women to win all three of those events.