FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The third-ranked Arkansas cross country team will face one of its toughest challenges of the year when the Razorbacks travel to New York, N.Y., for the Meet of Champions on Sept. 24. The host school, Iona College, is currently ranked seventh in the nation. In addition to Arkansas and Iona, 23 other schools are set to take to the trails. UA will boast its largest contingent so far this season as 14 Razorback athletes will compete on the 8K course at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx at 10:15 a.m. ET.
“This will be a great experience for the guys,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “The course has a lot of history and it’s right in the middle of the city. We’ll have the chance to go up against strong teams that we’ll see again at nationals.”
Both of Arkansas’ returning All-American seniors, Josphat Boit and Marc Rodrgiues, will help lead the squad, but they will have help from junior Peter Kosgei. The Kapsabet, Kenya native is a four-time All-American in track, but this will be his first opportunity to run a cross country meet as a Razorback.
It will also be the first time two true freshmen, including Kenny Cormier and Scott MacPherson, get to sport their Arkansas jerseys. Freshman Chris Barnicle is coming off a solid performance at the Missouri Southern Stampede last weekend and hopes to see continued improvement.
Junior Seth Summerside was UA’s top finisher at the Stampede and has been running very well. Fellow junior Adam Perkins also turned in a quality season-opening performance at the same race and will look for a repeat in the “Big Apple.”
For seniors Jose Campos and Josh Robles, junior Luis Bordes and sophomore Jonathan Norris the Meet of Champions will be their third-straight competition of the 2005 campaign. Sophomores Shawn Forrest and Tyler Hill have had a week to rest after running in the Arkansas Invitational on Sept. 9. The pair posted top-five finishes at the home meet and aim to be a part of the scoring lineup again.
Results from the Meet of Champions will be available on www.hogwired.com or http://www.plattsys.com/ptsrun.htm.