BRONX, N.Y. – Freshman Alex George, senior Stanley Kebenei and redshirt junior Gabe Gonzales finished 2-3-4 individually, as the No. 13 Razorbacks men’s cross country team picked up it’s first win of the season at the Iona Meet of Champions.
The 8k race, which began at 10:15 a.m. at Van Cortlandt Park, featured runners from Arkansas, Albany, Army, Binghamton, Brown, Buffalo, Central Connecticut State, Connecticut College, Dowling, Edinboro, Fordham, Hofstra, Indiana (Pa.), IPFW, Kent State, Monroe College, NYIT, Princeton, St. Francis (N.Y.), St. John’s, UMass Lowell, Yale, Youngstown State and host-school No. 12 Iona.
George, in his second collegiate race, turned in a career-best 8K time of 25:36.66 to lead the Razorbacks with his second place time. The runner-up finish is the best finish of his young career, as he previously earned 16th-place in his collegiate debut race at the Hurricane Cross Country Festival (Aug. 30).
As a team, the Razorbacks were able to pick up their first win of 2014 season. Arkansas finished with a rotation score of 46, as its top five runners all finished inside the top 30.
Senior Stanley Kebenei and redshirt junior Gabe Gonzales finished behind George, as their respective times of 25:41.65 and 25:42.94 were good enough for a third and fourth place finishes.
Arkansas’ scoring rotation was rounded out by 10th place and 27th place runners. Junior Cale Wallace (25:58.99) took 10th place, while freshman Austen Dalquist finished in 27th place after turning in a personal-best time of 26:31.67.
Ethan Moehn set a personal-best and placed 39th (26:47.31) and redshirt sophomore Aidan Swain (27:07.21) and sophomore Noah Findlay (28:02.22) rounded out Arkansas’ runners with 57th and 107th place finishes, respectively.
The Razorbacks ran away from the competition in team scoring, as the next closest team to U of A’s score of 46 was Fordham, who posted a 67. Brown collected 96 points to finish third, while UMass Lowell placed fourth with 132 points. Buffalo rounded out the top five with 157 points, while meet-host No. 12 Iona finished 11th.
The Razorbacks will be back in action on Oct. 4, as they will run their only regular season meet in Fayetteville by participating in the Chile Pepper Invitational at Agri Park. Race time is slate for 9:45 a.m.
Arkansas Runners Finish
2. Fr. Alex George – 25:36.66 (Personal-Best)
3. Sr. Stanley Kebenei – 25:41.65
4. R-Jr. Gabe Gonzales – 25:42:94
10. Jr. Cale Wallace, 25:58.99
27. Fr. Austen Dalquist, 26:31.67 (Personal-Best)
39. Fr. Ethan Moehn, 26:47.31 (Personal-Best)
57. R-So. Aidan Swain, 27:07.21
107. So. Noah Findlay, 28:02.22
COACH CHRIS BUCKNAM POST RACE SOUND
On Winning The Race
“I was pleased with the win today. It was nice on a different course and being in a different venue. We haven’t been to Van Cortlandt Park in about 10 years, so it was nice to return to New York.”
On The Team’s Performance
“Our kids handled this experience very well. There are a lot of variables that go into building a good team and we are working through those as we run in these early meets. For some of our guys it was their first 8K and for a guy like Stanley (Kebenei), it was his first race since the NCAA Championships. Alex (George) isn’t used to running on these types of courses being from Great Britain. But with all of those variables coming into play, we were still able come away with the win and learn a little more about ourselves individually and as a team.”