– Competing in a field that featured 20 ranked teams, the No. 19 University of Arkansas men’s cross country team tied for fifth place Friday afternoon at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis. The Razorbacks were paced by a ninth-place individual finish from Eric Fernandez
and placed three runners inside the top 20 overall.
Arkansas entered the race as the 12th-highest ranked team in the field and with their performance Friday, the Razorbacks beat seven teams—No. 1 Wisconsin, t-No. 5 Iona, No. 10 Syracuse, No. 11 Princeton, No. 13 Notre Dame, No. 16 Minnesota and No. 18 Northern Arizona—ranked ahead of them in the most recent national rankings. Arkansas tied for fifth place with No. 17 Columbia.
Fernandez was the first Razorback runner to cross the finish line, navigating the 8K path at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in a personal-best time of 23:36, knocking 16 seconds off his previous best at that distance. He was followed in the lineup by Solomon Haile
in 15th place and Kemoy Campbell
in 16. Haile posted a time of 23:42 with Campbell right behind his teammate, clocking in at 23:43. Campbell, Fernandez and Haile have been Arkansas’ top-three finishers in the past two competitions.
The Razorbacks’ fourth runner was Layne Nixon
and his time of 24:23 was good for 118th place overall. Nixon has scored in each of the team’s three meets this season. Arkansas’ scoring lineup was rounded out by Cameron Efurd
who crossed the finish line in 150th place with a time of 24:29. Friday’s race marked Efurd’s first appearance in the team’s top five during the 2012 season.
Arkansas’ sixth and seventh runners were David Flynn
and Cale Wallace, respectively. Flynn finished in 191st place with a time of 24:41, while Wallace—the only freshman in the lineup—was 244th in 25:08.
The Razorbacks were the top Southeastern Conference performers in the race, finishing ahead of conference mates Georgia (18th place), Missouri (31st) and Texas A&M (19th).
Friday’s race was Arkansas’ third of the season and last before the start of the championship season. The SEC Cross Country Championships will be contested Oct. 26 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn. The Razorbacks are the defending conference champions while Fernandez is the reigning individual title winner.
For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field with the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.