TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The No. 21-ranked Arkansas men’s cross country team concludes its 2014 campaign on the sport’s biggest stage on Saturday afternoon, as they will participate in the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Race time from Wabash Valley Family Sports Center is slated for 12 p.m.
The Razorbacks return four of their seven runners from last year’s team that finished 12th. Head coach Chris Bucknam’s squad will be led by 2013 NCAA All-American Stanley Kebenei, who is the highest returning harrier for the Razorbacks. Kebenei, who placed sixth at last year’s Championship, looks to become the 30th harrier in program history to earn multiple NCAA All-American honors.
It’s been a strong 2014 season for Kebenei, as he has earned USTFCCCA South Central Athlete of the Year, NCAA All-Region, SEC Runner of the Year and picked up three individual titles, which includes the NCAA South Central Region Championship and the SEC Cross Country Championships. He has been named the SEC Runner of the Week twice and set a new personal-best in the 10-kilometer at the NCAA South Central Region Championship.
In his last race, the Kenyan native captured his second career NCAA Regional Individual Title by winning the NCAA South Central Regional in 29:08.10. It was another dominating performance for the USTFCCA South Central Runner of the Year, as he distanced himself from Texas’ Craig Lutz in the race’s final 1,000-meters to win the race.
As for the rest of last year’s returners, junior Cale Wallace will be competing in his third-straight NCAA Cross Country Championship, while fellow juniors Gabe Gonzalez and Patrick Rono will be running in their second-consecutive Championship.
Wallace posted a 10-kilometer time of 32:55.30 last season to place 233rd overall. The Cypress, Texas native’s best finish at the NCAA Championship came during his freshman season, as his time of 30:57.30 earned him a 127th-place finish at the 2012 Championships. Wallace is coming off a personal-best 10-kilometer outing last week where he ran 30:01.90 at the NCAA South Central Regional to earn NCAA All-Region honors.
For Gonzalez, he placed 109th at last year’s title run, earning a time of 31:23.90 along the way. The Springdale, Ark., native also set a new personal-best in the 10K at last week’s NCAA South Central meet, as he finished the course in 29:55.00 to earn his third-consecutive NCAA All-Region accolade.
Rono placed 153rd in his NCAA Championship debut last season, when he ran a personal-best time of 31:48.60 on the 10-kilometer course in Terre Haute. The Lyndhurst, N.J., native sat out last week’s NCAA South Central Regional race.
- The top 40 runners will earn All-American honors.
- Eight of the last nine NCAA Cross Country Championships have been held in Terre Haute, Ind. The lone exception was in 2012, when the race was ran in Louisville, Ky.
- Arkansas was won an NCAA-leading 11 cross country championships.
- This year marks the third-straight season Arkansas has competed as a team at the NCAA Championship.
- Stanley Kebenei looks to become the 30th runner in program history to win multiply NCAA All-American titles and the first since the 2009, 2010 seasons when Dorian Ulrey earned back-to-back honors.
- Arkansas has had two runners win the NCAA Individual Title, Joe Falcon (’87) and Godfrey Siamusiye (’95, ’96).
- Head coach Chris Bucknam has led Arkansas to two top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championship.
- The last top-10 finish at the NCAA Championship came in 2012 when they placed 10th.
Expected Arkansas Runners
|Runner||Personal-Best 10K Time|
|Sr. Stanley Kebenei||29:08.10 (Nov. 14, 2014)|
|R-Jr. Gabe Gonzalez||29:55.00 (Nov. 14, 2014)|
|Fr. Alex George||29:55.00 (Nov. 14, 2014)|
|Jr. Cale Wallace||30:01.90 (Nov. 14, 2014)|
|R-So. Aidan Swain||30:21.90 (Nov. 14, 2014)|
|Fr. Austen Dalquist||30:22.80 (Nov. 14, 2014)|
|R-Jr. Patrick Rono||30:19.40 (Oct. 15, 2011)|
For more information on the Arkansas men’s cross country team, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.