FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 3 Razorbacks will travel to Terre Haute, Ind. for the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships, Mon., Nov. 20. The men’s race is set to go off at 1:15 p.m. Arkansas is in search of its 12th NCAA cross country title and its 43rd NCAA title (cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field combined).
“We are ranked No. 3”, McDonnell said. “I was really happy with the way we ran at regionals. I thought we ran comfortable. We had a 40-second spread between our first and fifth runner. That’s pretty good. If we can do that at nationals and Peter (Kosgei) runs what he is capable of running, I think we will be a force.”
Kenny Cormier, Colin Costello, Shawn Forrest, Tyler Hill, Peter Kosgei, Scott MacPherson, Jonathan Norris, Adam Perkins and Seth Summerside are slated to travel and seven will compete on Monday.
“We are not exactly healthily,” McDonnell said. “We have some sniffles, nothing major but that has plagued us all year long.”
Joining Arkansas on the NCAA Championship course will be 31 additional schools. UA is one of three SEC teams competing in Terre Haute. No. 15 Alabama and 18th-ranked Florida will also be making the trip.
“I thought at the beginning that (Wisconsin) was (the overwhelming favorite),” McDonnell said, “but I think Colorado and ourselves, I think we can give them a run if (Wisconsin) slips up a little bit.”
Arkansas will be making its 32nd appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships when the Hogs take to the course on Monday. The Cardinal and White have captured an NCAA-record 11 National Championships including three-straight in 1998-2000. Michigan State ranks second with eight while UTEP has won seven. Oregon, Stanford and Villanova, all with four, round out the top five. Arkansas has also earned five second-place finishes, four third-place showings and three fifth-place outings.
“One thing we are doing, we are not running for second or third,” McDonnell said. “It might be a mistake but we are going for it.”
At the event in 2005, the Razorbacks tallied 105 points with five scorers in the top 51 for a second-place finish, while the Wisconsin Badgers won with 37 points and five runners in the top 17.
The Hogs’ second-place finish was their best since they claimed the team title in 2000 and UA has continued to climb the podium in recent years. In 2004, the Razorbacks were third, in 2003 they were fifth and in 2002 they were sixth.
Complete details and results of the NCAA Championships can be found at www.ncaasports.com or http://www.indstate.edu/athletics.