Arkansas Earns Automatic Berth to Nationals wi
BY ANDRES FOCIL
WACO, Texas – The third-ranked Razorbacks remained perfect for the season with a first-place performance at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships and in the process earned an automatic berth to the national championships. Arkansas tallied 34 points when its five scoring runners finished in the top 17 of the 10K race, helping the Hogs extend their regional winning streak to 15-straight. Texas gained runner-up honors with 51 points and Rice was third with 65 on the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.
“It was a good meet for us, even though we were competing without Marc (Rodrigues) or Said (Ahmed),” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “I was very pleased with how we performed. We haven’t run this fast on this course in a long time. We wanted to use it a warm-up for the NCAA Championships, so we went out fast in the first three miles and then we cruised before we ran the last mile fast again.”
Junior transfer and Southeastern Conference Champion Josphat Boit continued to lead the UA team when he claimed top honors with a time of 29:43, becoming the 11th Razorback to win the individual title since 1991. With his performance Boit will now head into the national championships undefeated, having captured first place in each of the five meets he has run in.
Freshman Shawn Forrest was close behind, earning runner-up honors for the second time this year. It was his first 10K race for 2004 and he recorded a time of 29:46. Senior All-American Jason Sandfort posted a career-best regional finish when he crossed the line in fourth with a time of 29:59.
Sophomore Adam Perkins turned in a personal-best 10K time of 30:30 when he came in 10th place. His previous best of 30:55 came at the 2003 Chile Pepper Invitational. Junior Luis Bordes rounded out the UA scorers when he finished in 17th place with a time of 30:56.
Junior Matt Gunn and freshman Jonathan Norris were 21st (31:10) and 22nd (31:11), respectively.
The NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 22 are next on the schedule for Arkansas. When the Razorbacks run on the LaVeern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course they will be in search of their 12th national cross country title and 40th NCAA crown overall.
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