Athletes Honored at Annual Track Banquet
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas track and field team held its annual banquet on Tuesday night at the Fayetteville Town Center. The Bank of Fayetteville served as the sponsor while the Razorbacks were presented with their awards from the 2002-03 season.
Last year Arkansas head coach John McDonnell led his Hogs to their 37th and 38th NCAA Championships and the Southeastern Conference Triple Crown, which included their 29th straight cross country league title. The Razorbacks were also named as the 2003 Academic Team of the Year with a cumulative grade point average of 3.1. Besides the many team accolades earned last year, several individuals were honored during the awards ceremony.
Seven athletes were given Academic All-America honors. Four of them boasted GPA’s of 4.0, including Luis Bordes, Josh Landreth, Daniel Lincoln and Jaanus Uudmae. Eric Brown, Robbie Stevens and Jason Sandfort also earned the academic honor. Lincoln was also named the NCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year.
After their phenomenal performances last year Alistair Cragg and Lincoln topped the award stand most of the evening. They were both named as the Most Outstanding Athletes.
Cragg was given five All-America honors for his national runner-up finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, 3,000 and 5,000-meter national indoor titles, his 5,000-meter national outdoor title and the NCAA outdoor 10,000-meter crown he shared with Lincoln. Cragg was also named the 2002 Outstanding Cross Country Runner and the team captain for the 2003-04 season.
Lincoln was also awarded with five All-America honors for his 14th place showing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, his third-place finish in the 3,000 and sixth-place finish in the 5,000 at indoor nationals and his successful double of the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Ten other Razorbacks were also given All-America awards. They included Said Ahmed who came in fifth at outdoor nationals in the 1,500. Chris Mulvaney captured the NCAA indoor mile championship and came in a close second in the 1,500 meters at outdoor nationals. Sandfort had a 31st place showing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and was 13th in the 5K at indoor nationals.
Richard Smith garnered seventh and eighth in the indoor triple and long jumps, respectively. Stevens posted eighth and third place finishes in the 800 meters at the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets. Michael Taylor crossed the line in 11th in the outdoor 1,500-meter run. Michael Thomas posted a fourth place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60-meter hurdles and Uudmae came in fifth in the triple jump during indoor nationals.
Bordes was also named the Freshman of the Year after he was UA’s fifth man on the cross country squad at the SEC Championships. Junior Ahmad Carroll was given the Most Improved award. Carroll was the nation’s only athlete to double in the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Additionally, he became the first two-sport athlete since 1948 to earn points at the national outdoor meet.
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