FAYETTEVILLE – Now into the championship portion of its schedule, the No. 10 University of Arkansas men’s cross country team will next compete Monday, Nov. 1, at the Southeastern Conference Championship meet. The race is scheduled for a 10 a.m. (CT) start on Hilton Field at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.
"We’ve got to keep an eye out for everybody and we’ll see how it plays out," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "Alabama is the defending champion and they know how to win this race. It’s still fresh in their minds and we feel we’re going to have to be at our very best to contend for a championship."
This will be the Razorbacks’ third 8K race of the season, having competed over the distance at the Missouri Southern Stampede and the Stanford Invitational. Sophomore Solomon Haile and senior Dorian Ulrey have the top two 8K times this season for Arkansas at 23:30 and 23:38, respectively. Both of those performances were posted at the Stanford Invitational. Those times also represent the third and fourth best 8K times by an SEC runner this season.
In the most recent release of the USTFCCCA polls, the 10th-ranked Razorbacks are the top ranked SEC team. Florida follows at No. 26 while defending conference champion Alabama is right behind as the 27th-ranked team in the nation.
Last season, Arkansas ran to a second-place finish at the SEC Championship in Oxford, Miss. Three Razorbacks claimed top-10 finishes, including Ulrey who was the runner-up to Ole Miss’ Barnabas Kirui. Lane Boyer and Haile were eighth and ninth, respectively, for the Razorbacks. The rest of the team’s top-five lineup at the 2009 event included Rick Elliott and Aaron Hamilton.
Arkansas has won 34 cross country conference titles, split evenly between being members of the Southwest Conference and SEC. Since joining the SEC, the Razorbacks have placed no lower than third. Including Monday’s race, the rest of the 2010 schedule includes the NCAA Regional Championship (Nov. 13) in Waco, Texas, and the NCAA Championship (Nov. 22) in Terre Haute, Ind.