FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The fifth-ranked Arkansas men’s cross country team will face a tough early season test as it travels to New York Friday for the Iona College Meet of Champions.
Head coach Chris Bucknam returns his squad to New York after a one-year hiatus. In 2015, the Razorbacks finished second among ten teams.
“It’s not a big meet, but one where I love the course,” Bucknam said. “It’s a classic cross country East coast course. Van Cortlandt Park is kind of a famous place out East for cross country running and we try to get in an East coast trip just to get a different flavor of competition.”
Let’s Look at the Standings
Arkansas remains the highest-ranked Southeastern Conference program in this week’s USTFCCCA National Coaches Poll. The Hogs also maintained their No. 1 ranking in the South Central Region following its first place finish at the Cowboy Preview Sept. 1. The Razorbacks face its first top-10 opponent of the season this weekend, matched up against host school No. 9 Iona.
Lining Up for the Hogs
Senior Alex George will open his season in New York, following a stellar 2016 campaign that saw him earn All-American, All-Region and All-SEC honors. The 2016 SEC champion looks to kick off his final year in similar fashion as last season, which saw him capture the individual 8K title at Boston College’s Battle in Beantown with a time of 24 minutes, 9 seconds.
A mainstay in Arkansas’ top-five, Cameron Griffith will also assist in the Razorbacks’ charge on Friday morning. Griffith finished in the top-50 at the 2016 NCAA Championship, and led the way for the Razorbacks at the Cowboy Preview with a third place finish earlier this season. Young Hog Carter Persyn will most likely round out Arkansas’ top three at Iona. Persyn was named 2016 SEC Freshman of the Year and opened his sophomore season with a top-five finish in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The Iona Meet of Champions 8K race will begin at 9:45 a.m. CT Friday.
2017 Cross Country Schedule
Fri, Sept. 1 – Cowboy Preview (Stillwater, Okla.) 1st of 4
Fri, Sept. 15 – Iona College Meet of Champions (New York, N.Y.)
Sat, Sept. 30 – Chile Pepper Festival (Agri Park)
Sat, Oct. 14 – Pre-Nationals (Louisville, Ky.)
Fri, Oct. 27 – SEC Championship (Athens, Ga.)
Fri, Nov. 10 – NCAA South Central Regional (College Station, Texas)
Sat, Nov. 18 – NCAA Championship (Louisville, Ky.)
*italicized meet denotes completion.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.