Razorback region runner-up finish secures NCAA Championship berth
WACO, Texas – Arkansas scored 39 points as runner-up in the NCAA South Central Region, racing over the 10,000m course at Cottonwood Creek golf course on Friday, to secure an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships.
Texas (1-3-4-9-18) won the team title with 35 points to edge the Razorbacks (5-6-7-10-11) by four points. Arkansas State finished third with 166 points. This marks the 17th time Arkansas and the Longhorns have claimed the top two positions in the region since 2000, with the Razorbacks holding a 14-3 edge between the two schools.
Arkansas had a blanket finish with its top three finishers as Amon Kemboi (30:26.6), Emmanuel Cheboson (30:26.7), and Gilbert Boit (30:26.8) placed 5-6-7. Andrew Kibet and Myles Richter completed the Razorbacks team score, placing 10th and 12th with times of 30:38.3 and 31:02.0.
“We worked together and talked along the way, just carrying each other throughout the race,” said Kamboi. “That was the plan from the start. It’s fun to finish a race together, working up front during the race to make it easy. That is something that is nice, working as a team.
“It was a little bit windy today, you notice it more on the uphill portions of the course and that’s when it takes something out of you. We worked through it and it felt easy all the way.”
Ryan Murphy was the sixth Arkansas runner to earn All-Region honors as he finished 16th in 31:17.3. Jacob McLeod placed 30th in 31:55.1.
Arkansas led the team score through 9,000m of the 10k race. At 3k, the advantage was 43-49 for the Razorbacks over Texas, then increased to 30-51 at 5k. Passing through 8k, Arkansas’ edge was 33-44, and expanded to 16 points at 9k, 30-46.
The Razorbacks compete in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, November 20, in Tallahassee, Florida.
NCAA South Central Region | Men’s Team Scores
1. Texas 35, 2. Arkansas 39, 3. Arkansas State 166, 4. Lamar 200, 5. Rice 201, 6. Texas A&M 237, 7. McNeese State 242, 8. North Texas 253, 9. New Orleans 292, 10. Texas A&M-CC 307.