FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas men’s cross country team was honored Tuesday evening with a reception hosted by Chancellor G. David Gearhart at the Wallace W. and Jama M. Fowler House. The on-campus celebration was held in recognition of the Razorbacks’ victory at the 2010 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championship in Columbia, S.C.
Gearhart and his wife Jane, in conjunction with Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long, have formed the initiative to recognize Razorback teams that have won an SEC Championship with a ceremony at the Fowler House, home of Chancellor and Mrs. Gearhart.
"SEC championships are really what we want and what we desire," Long said. "No matter how often you win a conference championship, it is still very special. For you to bring that back to our department, our university and our state, is a really tremendous thing. This is just one way for us to say thank you for your hard work, dedication and commitment to the track and field and cross country programs and the University of Arkansas."
Arkansas men’s cross country student-athletes and coaches were joined by members of the University administration for the Fowler House ceremony. After a comments from Chancellor Gearhart, Long and head coach Chris Bucknam, members of the team were presented with a Chancellor’s Award medal for their outstanding accomplishment.
"This is a very special group," Bucknam said. "I’m very, very proud of them. I don’t think people realize how many miles these guys run for us. When I write recommendations for these guys, that’s the first thing I write. I want them to know they’re getting a student-athlete that has dedicated to four and five years of hard work. This was a big win for us so we just appreciate the opportunity to be here."
Kicking off the championship season of the 2010 cross country campaign, the Razorbacks captured the program’s 18th SEC title with a win at the conference meet last November. Paced by five top-10 individual finishes, Arkansas totaled 34 points to come away with the team title ahead of Alabama and Florida, respectively.
It was the first SEC cross country title, and fourth overall conference championship, for Bucknam. In the postseason SEC awards release, Bucknam was named the Coach of the Year and Bryan Cantero earned Freshman of the year accolades.