FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Eric Fernandez, a member of the Arkansas Razorback men’s cross country and track and field programs, will be competing at the at the fifth annual North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships at the Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville, Fla.
A field of nearly 100 athletes representing nine national federations will compete Saturday, March 7. The NACAC Championships will contest races for the open men’s 8K, open women’s 6K, junior men’s 6K and junior women’s 4K.
Just a freshman, Fernandez was one of Arkansas’ top competitors during the 2008 cross country season. He finished 21st at the SEC Championships with an 8,000-meter time of 24:43.51. Overall, he was the second freshman to cross the finish line and he was named to the SEC All-Freshman team for his efforts.
Fernandez was Arkansas’ second scorer with a seventh-place finish overall at the NCAA Regional Championships. He clocked a 10,000-meter time of 30:53.7 and recorded his highest finish within the team ranks. He also earned his first all-region honor and was the first freshman overall to cross the finish line.
In addition to the American hosts, teams from Canada, Jamaica and Puerto Rico will be among those competing for team titles at the 2009 NACAC Championships.
The men’s junior team will be led by USA Junior Cross Country Championships fourth-place finisher and World Cross Country squad member Ryan Hill (Hickory, N.C.). Joining Hill will be Joey Bywater (Seattle, Wash.), Ryan Prentice (Normandy Park, Wash.), Arkansas’ Eric Fernandez (Ballwin, Mo.), and Griffith Graves (Abingdon, Va.).
The NACAC Cross Country Championships begin at 9:15 a.m. with the junior women’s 4K, followed by the junior men’s 6K at 9:45 a.m. For more information on the NACAC Cross Country Championships, visit www.usatf.org.