Cragg, Lincoln and McDonnell Garner Top Confer
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Even though the collegiate track and field season ended in June, the post-season awards keep coming for the Razorbacks. Junior All-American Alistair Cragg was able to add to his list of honors as he earned the distinction of being named the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year and senior All-American Daniel Lincoln was named the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Arkansas head coach John McDonnell was doubly honored as the league gave him his ninth Indoor Coach of the Year Award and his first since 2001, as well as his 10th Outdoor Coach of the Year award and his first since winning nine straight from 1992-2000. The awards were determined by a vote of the league’s coaches.
“It’s nice to have two athletes that can win the indoor and outdoor awards,” McDonnell said. “That’s a rare thing. These two guys richly deserve these awards. Alistair was a double champion on the NCAA level. I don’t see how anyone could overlook him this year. Daniel was able to cap off his career with some super performances. He definitely left his impression on the conference.”
During the 2003 indoor season Cragg, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, won two NCAA individual titles and garnered two All-America honors in leading the Razorbacks to their 37th national championship, including their 17th indoor crown, at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships.
He successfully defended his 5,000-meter title with a Tyson Track Center and school record time of 13:28.93. Cragg then went on to win the 3,000-meter run with a time of 7:55.68.
At the SEC Indoor Championships he was awarded the Commissioner’s Trophy as the individual high point scorer at the meet. Cragg captured the 3,000-meter (7:56.99) and mile run (3:59.14) titles for 20 points to help the Hogs win their 23rd conference indoor crown including their 11th SEC title.
Earlier in the indoor season he broke a five-year old collegiate record in the 3,000 meters with a time of 7:45.22 at the Boston Indoor Games and was subsequently named SEC Athlete of the Week.
Lincoln capped a remarkable career with a truly historic double at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships when he became the first athlete ever to win NCAA individual titles in the 10,000-meter run and the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the same championship meet.
Lincoln won the 10,000 meters in a school record time of 28:20.20. He then became the first American to win three-straight NCAA steeplechase titles when he finished in a time of 8:26.65. Lincoln did not lose a collegiate steeplechase race in his last 10 outings. His 20 points at the national meet helped Arkansas clinch its 38th national championship including its 10th outdoor crown.
At the SEC Outdoor Championships, Lincoln claimed a share of the Commissioner’s Trophy after scoring 26 points. He won the steeplechase for the third straight year and earned runner-up honors in both the 10,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run.
He was named the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year by Trackshark.com and earned USATF Athlete of the Week honors after his NCAA performance.
McDonnell led the Hogs to their 37th and 38th NCAA Championships during the indoor and outdoor seasons in commanding fashion. His Razorbacks were also able to dominate the conference when they completed their first SEC triple crown since the 1999-2000 season. Arkansas brought home its seventh consecutive and eleventh overall SEC Indoor Championship, and its 10th SEC Outdoor Championship.
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