MADISON, Wisc. – Senior Stanley Kebenei finished in sixth place individually and led the No. 17 Arkansas men’s cross country team to a 16th place finish at the sixth annual Wisconsin adidas Invitational at Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course on Friday afternoon.
Head coach Chris Bucknam’s team competed against 16 teams ranked inside the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Top 30 in the Badger State. Six of the USTFCCCA’s Top 10 teams were in attendance on Friday, as No. 3 Northern Arizona, No. 5 Portland, No. 6 Syracuse, No. 7 Stanford and both teams tied for No. 9 position, UCLA and Wisconsin, challenged the No. 17-ranked Razorbacks.
Kebenei finished the 8K race with a time of 23:55 to pick up the sixth place finish on Friday and pace an Arkansas Razorback men’s cross country team that collected 416 points to take 16th place in the 36 team field.
Freshman Alex George followed up his strong performances at the Iona Meet of Champions and the Chile Pepper Festival with a personal-best time in the 8K (24:23) to take 57th. Redshirt junior Gabe Gonzalez crossed the finish line in 24:25 to place 61st.
Junior Cale Wallace came in 145th place, finishing the 8K event in 24:59. Freshman Austen Dalquist rounded out the scoring rotation for Arkansas, as his 25:00 placed him 147th individually.
The No. 17-ranked team in the nation finished three points ahead of 17th place Oklahoma (419), but were 17 points shy of 16th place (Michigan State) and 22 points shy of the No. 15 position (Indiana). Syracuse took the team title for the second time in their program history and finished ahead of No. 14 Iona (154 points), No. 9 Wisconsin (176 points), No. 5 Portland (211 points) and No. 7 Stanford (220 points) who rounded out the top-five.
Sophomore Aidan Swain captured 198th with a time of 25:28 and senior Patrick Rono’s time of 27:16 put him in 247th to round out Arkansas’ top seven runners.
In the men’s open race, freshman Ethan Moehn turned in a time of 25:59 (52nd), while redshirt junior Andrew Pisechko and sophomore Noah Findlay finished 73rd (26:46) and 81st (28:10), respectively.
The Razorbacks will now look ahead to the SEC Championships on Friday, Oct. 31. The Men’s 8K Championship Race, which is slated for a 10 a.m. start, will take place at the Harry Pritchett Cross Country Course in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
For more information on the Arkansas men’s cross country team, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.
COACH BUCKNAM POST-RACE SOUND
On His Team’s Performance: “I thought realistically we could have finished inside the top 10. This meet has a ton of national talent and there are a lot of teams that are evenly matched and we thought we would be in that mix. If everybody on our team ran four or five seconds faster, then we would have been able to move up five or six spots. We’re close to having a really good team, we’re not quite there yet and this meet will be a good learning experience for us. We have to get ready to get back to work and get ready for a tough SEC meet.”
On Using This Meet as a Learning Tool: “We have to learn to get out of the gates faster and position ourselves in good spots over the first 2,000-meters. Cale, Austen, and Gabe all had respectable times but because this was such a big race, there were at least 100 people in between them and Alex George. It’s all about positioning, we have to be aggressive early but being smart about it to gain position throughout the race. When you have to move your way through 100 people, it gets harder and harder as the race goes on and it gets our guys stuck in spots that we know they’re better than.”
On Kebenei and George’s Performances: “Stanley is an elite athlete. We gave him the summer off and he is a tad behind in training from these other guys, so to see him place top 10 at this meet is great. He is a competitor, he is always ready to race and it’s a joy to coach a guy like that. Alex is up there running with Stanley for 3,000-4,000 meters and he did fade a bit, and that’s because he needs to build up to the speed of this race. He is fearless and wants to run up there with the Stanley Kebenei’s at this races and he has the talent to do it, he needs to build the endurance and it will come.”
Wisconsin adidas Invitational | 8K
Oct. 17, 2014 – Madison, Wisc. – Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course
Arkansas Results – 16th Place (416 Points)
|57th||Alex George||57||24:23 (Personal-Best)|
Open Race Results