FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 5 Arkansas cross country finished third with a score of 73 at the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree, Saturday morning, in Stillwater, Okla. Scott MacPherson was the Hogs’ top finisher for the second-straight race.
No. 9 Oklahoma State won the race with 69 points with Division II powerhouse No. 1 Abilene Christian finishing second, also with 69 points. Arkansas was third with 73 points, Tulsa fourth with 87 points and South Plains College rounded out the top five with 186 points.
“It was alright, not a great race for us,” head coach John McDonnell said. “We should have won. We were winning with a quarter of a mile left in the race. We usually hold on if we are winning that far in to the race. We let a lot of guys pass us and that’s inexcusable.”
MacPherson was the top Hog finisher with a fifth-place finish and an 8,000-meter time of 24:12. The Plano, Texas native was the top Arkansas runner for the second time in as many races. He was also the top SEC finisher and the top South Central Region finisher.
“Now we know we can’t mess around anymore,” MacPherson said. “It’s time to get to work. I think it was good for us to get beat because it showed us that we can’t just coast. We have a lot more work to do. No one is going to hand anything to us.”
Junior Chris Barnicle, making his 2007 debut, was the Hogs second finisher and was 12th overall. He clocked a time of 24:36, just off his 8K best of 24:31. Senior Matt Munoz was the third team finisher with a 15th-place finish (24:42). Senior Tyler Hill was fourth on the team and 18th overall with his time of 24:46. Senior Shawn Forrest was the final scorer in 23rd place with his time of 25:07.
“It’s early in the season and we have been working out hard,” MacPherson said. “Getting beat at the end of the race is better than getting beat early in the race. We went out hard but couldn’t hold on at the end. As we get better, we’ll be stronger at the end of the race and be able to hold on at the end.”
Finishing outside of the top five were Lane Boyer (25th, 25:15), Rio Reina (29th, 25:28), Daniel LaCava (36th, 25:37), Michael Chinchar (46th, 25:57) and Duncan Phillips (58th, 26:13).
“It was a good field,” McDonnell said. “Scott (MacPherson) was good but not great. He is better than he was today. Our top five ran solid but nothing exceptional. Shawn (Forrest) was our fifth guy and he’s better than that.”
“We have some time before Chile Pepper in two weeks and SEC Championships in a month,” McDonnell said. “Kenny (Cormier) will be back as an extra man. We can turn it around but the athletes have to make the decision to do that.”
In two weeks, Arkansas will host the Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park, Sat., Oct. 13. Results from the 2007 OSU Cowboy Jamboree can be found at www.hogwired.com or www.okstate.com.