STILLWATER, Okla. – The Arkansas men’s cross country team traveled to Oklahoma State University on Monday afternoon for their Sept. 1 season opener at the Cowboy Preview.
The Razorbacks took on Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa in a dual-meet style competition which saw the programs being scored in groups of two.
Arkansas freshman Graham Brown was the first to cross the finish line in the 5,000 meter race for the Razorbacks. Brown came through as the ninth runner overall just behind Oklahoma’s Brendan Taylor. He was followed by junior college transfer, Kyle Hosting, who made his way to the finish eight positions behind his teammate.
The meet allowed head coach Chris Bucknam and his staff to assess the abilities of the new Razorbacks and map out a plan for their futures this season and throughout the duration of their time at Arkansas. The young team was recently predicted to finish first in the South Central Region and second in the SEC this year.
“Took our first step today in the 2015 cross country season, racing here in Stillwater,” said Bucknam. “It might look like an unproductive day when you look at the results, but it wasn’t. I got a chance to see some newcomers compete for us for the first time today, and I liked what I saw. Although we sat most of our team, having an early meet like this sends a signal to our entire team, including the guys that stayed home, that the summer training period has ended, our season is now here, and it’s time to transition into that kind of thinking.”
“Another signal that our season is here are the national polls that were released yesterday. While it’s always an accomplishment to surpass the expectations others have for us, in this case a 17th place national ranking (and a second place pick from last week’s SEC coaches poll), we have our own poll in our locker room and I’m focused on that.”
The Razorbacks will return to action on Sept. 19 at the Iona Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park in New York, N.Y. Last year saw Arkansas freshman Alex George claim his highest finish of the season with a second place performance at Van Cortlandt which led the Razorbacks to the team victory.
Arkansas will return home for competition on Oct. 3 for the 27th annual Chile Pepper Festival on their home course of Agri Park.
2015 Arkansas Cross Country Schedule
Tuesday, Sept. 1, Cowboy Preview | Stillwater, Okla. 4th of 4
Saturday, Sept. 19, Iona Meet of Champions | New York, N.Y.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Chile Pepper Festival | Fayetteville, Ark.
Friday, Oct. 16, Pre-Nationals | Louisville Ky.
Friday, Oct. 30, SEC Championships | College Station, Texas
Friday, Nov. 13, NCAA South Central Regional | College Station, Texas
Saturday, Nov. 21, NCAA Championships | Louisville, Ky.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.