Alistair Cragg Breaks 3,000-meter Collegiate R
BY ANDRES FOCIL
BOSTON, Mass. – Junior All-American Alistair Cragg made history at the Boston Indoor Games on Saturday night as he broke the 3,000-meter collegiate record with a time of 7:45.22. The previous record of 7:46.03 was held by Colorado’s Adam Goucher in 1998. Cragg outran defending 1,500-meter Olympic gold medalist, Noah Ngeny, in the last 500 meters to claim first place and the record. Ngeny’s second place time was 7:46.21.
Cragg’s time also surpassed the UA school record of 7:46.42, previously held by Joe Falcon in 1989, and automatically qualified him for the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships.
“I knew coming into the race that I was going to be running against a great field of runners,” Cragg said. “Coach McDonnell told me to run for position and to go fast, not to worry about anything else. Ngeny held me off for most of the race, but I knew I had to take him in the last 500 meters before he got too much confidence. I went after him and got it.”
“That’s awesome,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “Alistair’s performance is a big step for him. For him to beat the defending 1,500-meter champion is a big boost. It was a great evening for us and most importantly they (Cragg and Lincoln) qualified for nationals.”
Senior Daniel Lincoln finished seventh in the race with a career-best and automatic qualifying time of 7:51.39. Lincoln’s time puts him at fifth on UA’s all-time top 10 list. Junior Silverus Kimeli crossed the line in 16th with a time of 8:16.79.
The Razorbacks’ distance medley relay team of juniors Robbie Stevens, Chris Mulvaney and sophomores James Hatch and Said Ahmed established themselves as the top DMR team in the country as they took top honors with a time of 9:34.73, defeating defending NCAA champion Villanova. Their time is the fastest in the country this year and automatically qualified them for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The sprinters and hurdlers also saw action as they competed at the J.D. Martin Invitational in Norman, Okla. Junior Michael Thomas ran another provisional qualifying time (7.84) in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles, but finished fourth (8.18) in the finals. Sophomore Ahmad Carroll ran a time of 6.76 in the prelims of the 60-meter dash and finished second in the finals with a provisional qualifying time of 6.72.
In the 400-meter dash junior Maurice Bridges came in second (49.44), with senior Josh Landreth right behind in third (49.47).
The Razorbacks will travel next to Lincoln, Neb., for the Husker Invitational on February 7-8, before returning to host the Tyson Invitational on February 14-15.
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