NEW ORLEANS – On Tuesday, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named their Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year and Arkansas men’s cross country head coach Chris Bucknam, along with senior Stanley Kebenei, claimed both honors for the South Central Region.
Tuesday’s awards sweep marks the second-straight season that Arkansas has claimed both of the South Central Region’s top honors and the sixth time they’ve had a coach and athlete win the Region’s most illustrious awards in the same season.
For Kebenei, it is his first USTFCCCA South Central Athlete of the Year honor, as he becomes the seventh Razorback to garner the award, joining Kemoy Campbell (2013), Dorian Ulrey (2009), Josephat Boit (2004), Alistair Cragg (2002), Dan Lincoln (2001) and Mike Power (1998).
It is the second time in program history that Arkansas has had two different athletes garner the award in back-to-back seasons, as Kebenei and Campbell join Cragg and Lincoln who won claimed the accolade back in 2001, 2002.
Tuesday’s honor was sparked by Kebenei’s first-place finish at the NCAA South Central Region Championship last Friday at Agri Park, where the Kenyan native won his second-straight South Central Individual Championship by completing the 10-kilometer course at Agri Park in 29:08.10.
The list of tributes keeps growing for Kebenei this season, as he has earned NCAA All-Region honors, been named the SEC Runner of the Year and picked up three individual titles, which includes the NCAA South Central Region Championship and the SEC Cross Country Championships. He has been named the SEC Runner of the Week twice and set a new personal-best in the 10-kilometer at the NCAA South Central Region Championship.
For Coach Bucknam, it is the second-straight USTFCCCA South Central Coach of the Year honor and the fourth overall since his arrival to Arkansas in 2008.
It’s been another excellent season for Coach Bucknam’s team, as he led the Razorback men’s cross country team to its five-straight SEC Cross Country Championship and the program’s 22nd overall. His squad also collected the school’s 34th NCAA Regional Championship this season and captured four team titles.
The Arkansas men’s cross country team concludes its 2014 campaign on the sport’s biggest stage, as they’ll travel to Terre Haute, Ind., to participate in the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championship. Race time from Wabash Valley Family Sports Center set for 12 p.m. Check back with ArkansasRazorbacks.com later this week for a full preview on the Championship Race.
For more information on the Arkansas men’s cross country team, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.