TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Razorback harriers scored 21 points in the 10,000 meters on day two of the SEC Outdoor Championships. They currently lead the SEC Outdoor Championships by one point over Auburn who scored 20 points in the hammer throw and the decathlon.
“The 10,000 meters was good,” head coach John McDonnell said. “We’re not down points. We are okay. The 200-meter finals aren’t until Sunday so we have some time to make up some points.”
The Hogs’ 21 points came from a second-place finish out of Peter Kosgei (30:12.98), a fourth-place finish from James Strang (30:18.11), a fifth-place finish from Chris Barnicle (30:23.72), a sixth-place finish from Matt Munoz (30:26.11) and an eighth-place finish from Tyler Hill (31:04.07).
Kosgei and Munoz, swapping places, ran at No. 1 and No. 2 for much of the race. After coming through in a 5K time of 14:50, Kosgei, Munoz, Strang, Barnicle and Rio Reina held five of the top eight places with Hill on the bubble in ninth place.
“Matt Munoz and James Strang have been really looking good,” McDonnell said. “I expected them to come right in and score for us. They are real Hogs and they ran really well.”
The 2006 SEC Cross Country Champion Barnabas Kirui, who stayed in the top five throughout the race, took the lead with 2,000 meters to go and never relinquished. His winning time clocked in at 30:07.05. This is the first time since 2001 that an Arkansas runner has not won the 10K.
“We have won that race for years and years,” McDonnell said. “I thought for sure Peter (Kosgei) was going to win that race. He was right there with two laps to go.”
Hill’s one point was crucial because he outran Tennessee’s Ben Lukowski for the final scoring spot. Despite not scoring, Reina ran a very strong race, keeping with the lead pack for most of the race, and finished 12th with a 31:50.05.
“Chris Barnicle did the most outstanding job,” McDonnell said. “He had mono during last outdoor season and throughout cross country and indoor season. He’s recovering and we are glad to see him back. All those guys did a great job especially the ones who were running their first collegiate 10K.They did a nice job, Tyler Hill, too. He got one important point.”
J-Mee Samuels, expected to score big points in the 100 and 200 meters, did not qualify for the 200-meter finals. He finished 10th overall and was the first runner not to make the finals. His time of 21.19 tied for ninth with Brian Etleman of Gerogia. The times were broken down to the hundredth of a second and Etleman edged out Samuels, 21.181 to 21.188, a mere .007 seconds.
Samuels will get another chance when he runs the 100-meter prelims on Saturday. He currently holds the SEC-leading time in the event with a 10.13.
Battling foot injuries through out the season, Brian Roe started out strong in the 800 meters but faded with about 200 meters to go. He finally stepped off the track with about 120 meters to go.
“I didn’t expect a lot of points except from J-Mee (Samuels) in the 200 meters,” McDonnell said. “You never know what could happen. Clemore Henry looked very good and he had a personal best in the 200 meters. He might pick up some points in the 400 meters.”
Saturday starts with the long jump at 1 p.m. Alain Bailey, Nkosinza Balumbu, Daniel Quinn and Mychael Stewart will look to start the day off strong for the Razorbacks.
For complete results, schedule and details of the SEC Outdoor Championships, visit www.rolltide.com.