FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas senior Josphat Boit turned in the nation’s best 5,000-meter run this season and senior Marc Rodrigues earned an NCAA regional qualifying time in the 5,000-meter run invitational late Thursday night in the first day of competition in the Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif.
Boit was the top collegiate finisher in the 5K in a time of 13:28.26. In fact, the Kenyan was the only collegiate runner in the top six finishers. Boit finished second overall to Juan Luis Nieves (13:27.89) of Mexico. In the process, he earned the nation’s best time in the event this season and shattered his outdoor personal best (13:43.12) in the event by more than 15 seconds. Boit’s time was the fifth-best performance by a Razorback in the outdoor 5,000-meter run in school history.
“It was a great run by Josphat,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “He is pretty special. He did a great job. We need a few more to pick up the pace. I didn’t expect everyone to run super, but we have been working pretty hard. We aren’t that far away from the conference meet. We still have some work to do.”
Rodrigues finished 20th in the 23-man 5K field, but still posted an NCAA regional qualifying time of 14:00.69. Boit and Rodrigues are the Razorbacks’ first two regional qualifiers in the 5,000 this season. Sophomore Shawn Forrest finished off the pace in 23rd with a time of 15:00.47.
Three other Razorbacks competed earlier in the day in the university 5,000-meter run. Freshman Kenny Cormier (14:29.08), senior Josh Robles (14:29.68) and sophomore Jonathan Norris (14:56.08) finished 27th, 28th and 41st, respectively. Sophomore Tyler Hill finished seventh in another university 5,000-meter race. Hill crossed the line in 15:04.28.
Senior Brad Dittoe earned a second-place finish in his heat and placed 13th overall in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.99. Senior David Wittenmyer also placed second in his heat and finished 25th in the 800-meter run with a 1:53.59 clip.
Freshman Daniel LaCava was the Razorbacks’ only entry in the 1,500-meter run on Thursday. LaCava posted a time of 3:58.85 in his heat and finished 30th overall.