FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas freshman Scott MacPherson finished 49th in the junior division of the 34th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park in Fukuoka, Japan on Sunday. MacPherson, a first-year runner in the Razorback track and field program, was third among U.S. runners in the eight-kilometer race in a time of 26:13.
MacPherson helped the U.S. finish ninth among 15 nations in the junior team race. Kenya won both the team and individual title in the junior division. Kenyan Mangata Ndiwa paced the 98-man field with an individual winning time of 23:53.
“It was tough and windy out there,” MacPherson said. “Of course you’d like to finish better than that. I only ran one cross country meet at Arkansas (this year), and it pretty much went the way it did today. Being able to put USA on your chest and walking out on the starting line is one of the best feelings you can have as an athlete.”
The Plano, Texas, native competed at the Iona Meet of Champions last season for the Hogs before being sidelined with an injury. Arkansas will petition for a medical redshirt season and MacPherson will have four years of cross country eligibility remaining.
“Those (junior) races go out so fast, if you don’t commit yourself early to hurting pretty good you are going to be in trouble,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “It was a great experience for him. We always consider the junior races like the NCAA Championships. Finishing 49th in the NCAA meet wouldn’t have been too bad for him. I know it was a real eye opener for him. This experience will help him down the road.”
Fellow Razorback freshman Chris Barnicle also started in the junior race for the U.S. Barnicle didn’t place after not finishing the 8K course.
“I caught a cramp on my right calf on the second lap going up the hill,” Barnicle said. “I tried to run another 400 meters or so, and I just couldn’t go.”
On Saturday, former Razorback Daniel Lincoln represented the U.S. in the short-race (4K) world championships in Fukuoka. Despite a less than ideal individual performance, Lincoln still managed to finish an impressive 28th in the 128-man field. Lincoln’s time of 11:21 was only 27 seconds off the pace of world individual champion Bekele Kenenisa (10:54) of Ethiopia.
“I was trying to get into a rhythm,” Lincoln said. “I couldn’t calm myself down and get into a rhythm and hang in the pack like I needed to be. Between 2 and 3k is when I let myself drop off,
and that’s what I was disappointed in myself with. I could tell I was having a bad day, and the results are ok for having a bad day. I was definitely wanting more.”
Lincoln finished fourth among the American delegation helping the U.S. capture fifth place in the 21-country competition. Kenya captured the team title in the short-race competition.