Hogs punch ticket to NCAAs
WACO, Texas – No. 24 Arkansas Razorback men’s cross country ran for a second-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, held at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco, Texas.
The top-two finish secures Arkansas’ trip to the NCAA Championships later this month in Terre Haute, Ind. The Razorbacks finished three runners in the top 10, five in the top 20 and all seven finishers in the top 27.
Texas A&M won the team race with 39 points. The Hogs scored 44 points and Lamar rounded out the top three with 74 points.
"I’m disappointed that we lost the meet and got second but we are definitely getting better," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "This was our best team performance of year and that is encouraging. Our main objective was to finish in the top two and we got that accomplished. I think we are definitely on an upswing. We need to take advantage of the atmosphere at NCAAs. This was only a five-point loss, a great improvement from the last time we raced against Texas A&M. The bottom line is we improved from SECs and accomplished our No. 1 objective."
For the fourth time this season, senior Scott MacPherson was Arkansas’ lead runner. Changing places with Shadrack Sangok of Texas A&M and Samuel Kosgei of Lamar for the lead throughout the race, he ended with a bronze finish and a 10,000-meter time of 30:07.2 to earn the third all-region of his career.
Freshman Eric Fernandez was Arkansas’ second scorer with a seventh-place finish overall. In his NCAA regional debut, he clocked a 10,000-meter time of 30:53.7 and recorded his highest finish within the team ranks. He also earned his first all-region honor and was the first freshman overall to cross the finish line.
Andy McClary was 10th overall and third on the team. He clocked a 10K time of 31:08.1 to earn his first all-region honor. Lane Boyer was the fourth Hog to cross the finish line with an 11th-place finish overall. He clocked a time of 31:12.6 to earn his first all-region honor.
Michael Chinchar rounded out Arkansas’ scoring five with a 17th-place finish. He clocked a10K time of 31:27.2. Also competing for Arkansas were Alex McClary (19th; 31:37.9) and Rick Elliott (27th; 31:57.8). Chinchar and Alex McClary also were named all-region performers.
Arkansas will compete next at the NCAA Championships, Mon., Nov.24, in Terre Haute, Ind. For more information about the NCAA Championships, visit www.gosycamores.com. For more information about Arkansas Athletics, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.