FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas men’s cross country teams collected two honors Friday with the release of the 2010 Southeastern Conference Awards by the league office. Head coach Chris Bucknam was named the SEC Men’s Coach of the Year and Bryan Cantero was named the SEC Men’s Freshman Runner of the Year.
In his third season, Bucknam led the Razorbacks to the 2010 SEC men’s cross country title, the 18th in program history. His team opened the season with a win at the season-opening Arkansas Invitational. At the Stanford Invitational, the Razorbacks ran to a second-place finish and, as a result, moved up to a season-best No. 6 ranking in the USTFCCCA national poll. At the conference meet, Arkansas placed five in the top 10 on its way to 34 team points and the conference crown.
This marks the first SEC cross country accolade for Bucknam, and his fourth overall. He also has two indoor awards (2009, 2010) and one outdoor honor (2009). The Razorbacks’ 2010 SEC cross country crown is also the conference fourth title for Bucknam.
In the men’s 8K conference race, Cantero ran to an eighth-place finish in a time of 24:22.16 to help the Razorbacks claim this year’s SEC cross country title. With his performance, Cantero secured a spot on the All-SEC Second Team and as the top freshman runner, he also grabbed All-Freshman honors. His eighth-place overall finish Monday was a season-high result.
Making his Cardinal and White debut at the Stanford Invitational, Cantero clocked a season-best 8K time of 24:13 and a 17th-place place finish to earn his first SEC Freshman Runner of the Week award. He earned his second in as many races with his 10K performance at the 22nd Annual Chile Pepper Festival. He crossed the line in a time of 30:25.56 as the third overall freshman finisher.
The Aoste, France, native is the fifth student-athlete in Arkansas men’s cross country history to earn Freshman Runner of the Year accolades, joining Chris Mulvaney (2000), Jason Sandfort (2001), Mike Poe (2003) and Solomon Haile (2009).
Both Razorback crews return to the competition course Saturday, Nov. 13, for the 2010 NCAA South Central Regional in Waco, Texas, at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. The women’s 6K race is scheduled for a 10 a.m. (CT) start while the men’s 10K race will get under way at 11 a.m. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more information.
Download: 2010 SEC Awards.pdf