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Arkansas Faces First Test at Missouri Southern

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Faces First Test at Missouri Southern


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The third-ranked Razorback cross country team will encounter their first 8K race of the season when they travel to Joplin, Mo., for the Missouri Southern Invitational on September 20. Arkansas is fresh off a team victory at the four-mile Arkansas Invitational on September 5, but is ready to test its abilities against a longer course and a larger field of schools. Twenty-one programs will compete on Saturday morning, including Big 12 powerhouses Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
“They’re looking good in practice and I like the attitude of this group,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “They’re really focused on being good. I like that, but we won’t know until we get our first few meets out of the way. The course is not real tough, but it has lots of cut backs and turns that tend to slow guys down. This will be the first real test for the new guys.”
Ten Razorback runners will make the trip, including, senior Chris Mulvaney, junior transfer Eric Gross, junior Jason Sandfort, sophomores Luis Bordes, Matt Gunn, James Hatch and Michael Taylor, and freshmen Josh Harper, Adam Perkins and Mike Poe.
Sandfort took the tape at the Arkansas Invitational with a personal-best time of 19:53.77 and will look to contend for another individual title on Saturday. Perkins garnered runner-up honors with 20:11.42 two weeks ago, while Harper was fourth (20:30.47).
Bordes (20:32.77), Poe (20:45.90), Gunn (21:01.65) and Taylor (21:16.61) all finished in the top 12 and are expected to contribute to another UA first place showing. The Missouri Southern Invitational will mark the first race Mulvaney, Hatch and Gross have run in this season.
Next on the schedule for Arkansas is the Oklahoma State Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla., on October 4, with the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., following on October 18.




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