FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas men’s cross country team closed out the 2010 season with a 10th-place showing at the NCAA Championships (Nov. 22) in Terre Haute, Ind. Dorian Ulrey and Solomon Haile paced the team with a pair of All-America performances, the first time the Razorbacks have had multiple All-Americans since 2006.
It was Arkansas’ first top-10 national finish since the 2006 season, and the program’s highest under head coach Chris Bucknam. In 41 appearances at the NCAA Cross Country Championships as a program, Arkansas has now collected 32 top-10 finishes.
In qualifying for the national meet, Haile led the Razorbacks to the team title at the 2010 NCAA South Central Regional meet (Nov. 13) in Waco, Texas. The win secured Arkansas’ spot in the NCAA Championships. Haile led a trio of top-five finishers including Ulrey and Eric Fernandez and, all told, the Razorbacks grabbed six All-Region honors-Haile, Ulrey, Fernandez, Lane Boyer, Rick Elliott and Cameron Efurd.
For the second consecutive season, Bucknam was selected the 2010 NCAA South Central Region Men’s Coach of the Year.
Kicking off the championship season, the team captured the program’s 18th SEC title with a win at the conference meet (Nov. 1) in Columbia, S.C. Paced by five top-10 individual finishes, the then-No. 10 Razorbacks totaled 34 points to come away with the team title with Alabama and Florida coming in second and third, respectively.
Ulrey led the way for Arkansas with a third-place individual finish. He, Fernandez and Haile earned All-SEC First Team honors with their performances while Bryan Cantero and Dey Tuach claimed spots on the second team; with his effort, Cantero also landed on the conference all-freshman team.
It was the first SEC cross country title, and fourth overall conference championship, for Bucknam. In the postseason SEC award release, Bucknam was named the Coach of the Year and Cantero earned Freshman Runner of the Year accolades.
In their final preparation for the conference meet, the Razorbacks raced to a third-place finish at the 22nd Annual Chile Pepper Festival (Oct. 16) at Agri Park in Fayetteville. Ulrey paced the team with an eighth-place overall finish. The Razorbacks finished the race with a team score of 74 points, placing behind Indiana and eventual national champion Oklahoma State. Arkansas’ top-five lineup included Ulrey, Boyer, Fernandez, Michael Chinchar and Tuach.
Following a 29th-place overall result at Chile Pepper, Cantero earned his second SEC Freshman of the Week award in as many races.
Paced by three top-10 finishes, the men’s cross country team earned a second-place finish at the Stanford Invitational (Sept. 25). Haile was Arkansas’ top finisher with a sixth-place effort as the Razorbacks totaled 43 team points. All five of the team’s point earners placed in the top 12. Led by Haile, Arkansas’ top-five finishers included, in order, Ulrey, Boyer, Fernandez and Chinchar.
Making his Razorback debut at the Stanford Invitational, Cantero clocked an 8K time of 24:13 and a 17th-place finish to earn SEC Freshman Runner of the Week honors. The Aoste, France, native notched the top freshman result in a race of 231 participants.
Following its collective performance at the Stanford Invitational, Arkansas moved to a season-high No. 6 in the USTFCCCA national poll. In that race, the Razorbacks finished just 12 points behind top-ranked Stanford and outpaced then-No. 4 Northern Arizona.
Arkansas ran its younger crew at the Missouri Southern Stampede (Sept. 18) in Joplin, Mo., and picked up a second-place finish. Efurd was the team’s top finisher with an 11th-place overall finish. The rest of the Razorbacks’ top-five lineup included Aaron Hamilton, Michael Golden, Omar Abdi and Elliott.
The Razorbacks opened the year with a victory at the Arkansas Invitational (Sept. 3) with a perfect team score of 15 points. Chinchar paced the team with the individual title in the 6,600-meter race. All five Razorbacks crossed the finish line together-fractions of a second apart-with Chinchar grabbing the win in a time of 20:33.4. In order, he was followed by Fernandez, Boyer, Haile and Tuach.
Download: MXC team results.pdf