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Razorback Cross Country Notes – SEC Championsh

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorback Cross Country Notes – SEC Championsh



RAZORBACKS SEEK 28TH CONSECUTIVE CROWN: Arkansas will be looking to extend one of the longest tenured championship streaks in collegiate athletic history when the Razorbacks take to the course for the 2001 SEC Cross Country Championships.

The Hogs are favored to capture their 28th consecutive conference cross country title including their 11th straight since entering the SEC in 1991. Arkansas won 17 consecutive Southwest Conference cross country crowns from 1974-90.

THE FIELD: Ten of 12 SEC schools field men’s cross country teams. In addition to Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt will send teams to the starting line. Mississippi State and South Carolina don’t sponsor men’s cross country.

THE COVERAGE: Fox Sports Net South will have a full recap of the 2001 SEC Cross Country Championships on SEC-TV Weekly on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m. CT.

THE RANKING: Arkansas remains third in the latest edition of the (Oct. 16) MONDO men’s cross country rankings. The Hogs received 369 points in this week’s listing including two first place votes. No other SEC team is ranked among the nation’s top 25, although, Alabama is among teams receiving votes.
Colorado and Stanford hold down the top two spots, respectively. Colorado received 14 first place votes in the listing while Arkansas garnered the other two first place nods.

HOGS FAVORED TO CLAIM 11th-CONSECUTIVE SEC CROWN: Arkansas is the odds on favorite to capture the 2001 SEC Cross Country Championships according to a preseason vote of league coaches.
The Razorbacks earned 96 points and eight of 10 first place votes in the poll released on Aug. 27. Arkansas has won 27-consecutive league cross country titles including all 10 crowns contested since the Hogs joined the SEC in 1991.
Alabama earned the other two first-place votes and was tabbed second. Florida (3rd), Tennessee (4th) and Georgia (5th) rounded out the top half of the poll while LSU (6th), Auburn (7th), Kentucky (8th), Ole Miss (9th) and Vanderbilt (10th) completed the listing.

SEC RECORD STREAK: Arkansas’ 11-consecutive SEC cross country titles isn’t only the longest such league run in that sport, it is also the third longest streak by any team in any sport in league history.
Prior to Arkansas entrance into the SEC, Tennessee won 15 consecutive league outdoor track and field titles from 1964-78. Florida captured 13 swimming and diving crowns from 1956-68.
Arkansas’ current string trails only those two streaks in SEC history. The Razorbacks have won every cross country title since entering the league 10 years ago. Arkansas will be after its 11th crown on Monday.
The Hogs’ 10-straight league crowns is the longest current streak in any sport. Auburn is second with five consecutive swimming and diving championships.

CONFERENCE DOMINATION: Arkansas is seeking its 28th consecutive league cross country crown at Auburn, Ala., on Monday. The Razorbacks won 17-straight Southwest Conference titles before moving to the Southeastern Conference in 1991. Since that time, Arkansas has won all 10 league titles contested in cross country.
The last time Arkansas didn’t win the conference crown was in 1973 when the Hogs finished second to Texas in a race at Austin, Texas. McDonnell led his Razorbacks to a win in 1974 and the program hasn’t looked back since.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN 1974: To help put the amazing streak in perspective, consider that in the same year (1974) that Arkansas won the first of its 27 consecutive conference crowns:

* Current UA Head Football Coach Houston Nutt was a sophomore at Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.
* Arkansas’ top cross country runner, junior DANIEL LINCOLN, was still four years away from being born (1980).
* Gerald R. Ford became U.S. President after the resignation of Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
* Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
* Godfather II won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
* A first class stamp cost 10 cents.
* A loaf of white bread cost 35 cents.

YOUNG GUNS: Despite returning only one of its top seven runners from a year ago, Arkansas appears to be primed for another run at that national crown. Junior DANIEL LINCOLN is the only Razorback that helped the Hogs win their 11th NCAA cross country championship.
The Hogs have utilized two freshmen (JOHN ALEWINE, JASON SANDFORT), five sophomores (WESTLEY ALKIN, FERNANDO CABADA, ALISTAIR CRAGG, SILVERUS KIMELI, CHRIS MULVANEY) and three juniors (DIRK HEINZE, RYAN JOSEPH, DANIEL LINCOLN) in the lineup so far this season.

RETURNING ALL-SEC PERFORMERS: Arkansas’ lineup will consist of a pair of 2000 All-SEC performers. DANIEL LINCOLN and CHRIS MULVANEY each earned league honors last season at Tuscaloosa, Ala. Lincoln finished fourth in the 2000 SEC Championships while Mulvaney crossed the line in 14th place.

LOGGING LINCOLN: Junior DANIEL LINCOLN has been leading the pack so far this year for the Razorbacks. In three races, Lincoln has captured top invidual honors twice as well as earning a runnerup finish in his other outing.
Lincoln crossed the line with UA teammate ALISTAIR CRAGG to win the Arkansas Invitational (4 miles) in a time of 19:50. After a second-place finish at the 8K Cowboy Jamboree (24:04), Lincoln ran away from the field to win the Chile Pepper Invitational (10K) in 29:52.
Lincoln won SEC Male Cross Country Athlete of the Week after besting the field at the Chile Pepper Invitational.
The Fayetteville, Ark., native will be looking to improve on his fourth place finish at last year’s league championships. Lincoln earned All-SEC honors after running a 24:35.87.

FRESHMAN IMPACT: In a lineup that features no seniors and only one junior, freshman JASON SANDFORT has made the most of his opportunity to contribute this season. A true freshman from West Plains, Mo., Sandfort has placed ninth and 11th in his first two collegiate races. The last time Arkansas featured a true freshman that finished in the top 10 of a league meet was when Niall Bruton finished third at the 1990 SWC Championships.


RAZORBACK CROSS COUNTRY ATHLETE BIOS

WESTLEY ALKIN
6-0, 135, Sophomore
Dublin, Ireland
(Preston HS)

OUTLOOK: One of the prime candidates to help Arkansas in the lower half of the lineup.

2001: Has earned a spot in the lineup in the Hogs’ first two meets this season…Was Arkansas’ sixth finisher (7th overall) at the Arkansas Invitational Fayetteville…Finished 33rd in a time of 25:28 at the Cowboy Jamboree…Placed 28th at the Chile Pepper Invitational in 31:15.

FERNANDO CABADA
6-1, 144, Sophomore
Fresno, Calif.
(Buchanan HS)

OUTLOOK: Has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season according to McDonnell…Could give Arkansas a solid three behind Lincoln and Cragg.

2001: Crossed the line third in the Hogs’ season opening win at the Arkansas Invitational…Posted a time of 20:01 on the four-mile course…Finished 19th with a time of 25:04 at the Cowboy Jamboree…Ranked 21st at the Chile Pepper Invitational with a time of 31:02.

ALISTAIR CRAGG
6-0, 134, Sophomore
Johannesburg, South Africa
(SMU)

OUTLOOK: Fills one of the top two spots in the Razorback lineup along with teammate DANIEL LINCOLN…Finished in top three of all three UA races this season…Gives UA potent 1-2 punch at the top…Strength is speed…Transferred into the UA program from SMU.

2001: Tied for top individual honors in first race as a Razorback with teammate DANIEL LINCOLN at the Arkansas Invitational in a time of 19:50…Placed third in an 8K race at the Cowboy Jamboree (Sept. 29)…Ran a 24:10 on the hilly terrain of the Stillwater course…Earned third place honors in Chile Pepper Invitational (10K).

DIRK HEINZE
5-10, 150, Junior
Erfurt, Germany
(Werner-Seelenbinder)

OUTLOOK: An accomplished 800 meter and 1,500 meter runner, he is making the adjustment to cross country…McDonnell calls him one of the key components of another championship run.

2001: Competed in both of UA’s meets this season…Finished 10th in the season-opener at the Arkansas Invitational with a time of 21:05…Ranked 25th at the Cowboy Jamboree in 25:17…Fell to 69th at the Chile Pepper Invitational with a time of 32:13.

RYAN JOSEPH
5-8, 152, Junior
Georgetown, Texas
(Florida / Georgetown HS)

OUTLOOK: Earned a trip to the starting line in the Hogs’ first three meets…Could provide solid support in the lower half of the UA lineup.

2001: Clocked in at 21:07 on a four-mile course at the Arkansas Invitational…Placed 36th (25:34) in the first 8K race of the season at the Cowboy Jamboree…Ran a 31:39 to place 55th at the Chile Pepper Invitational.

SILVERUS KIMELI
5-8, 135, Sophomore
Eldoret, Kenya
(Cloud County CC)

OUTLOOK: Talented newcomer that could provide the Hogs’ strength in the middle of the lineup…Steady performer that has scored for the Hogs in every meet.

2001: Posted a fourth-place finish at the Arkansas Invitational (20:28)…Placed 12th at the Cowboy Jamboree with a time of 24:43…Competed against two brothers at the Cowboy Jamboree – Shadrick Kimeli (Kansas State) and Moses Kimeli (South Plains JC)…Earned 11th place finish in 30:27 at the Chile Pepper Invitational.

DANIEL LINCOLN
6-2, 151, Junior
Fayetteville, Ark.
(Arkansas School for Math & Science)

OUTLOOK: Only member of UA’s 2000 top seven lineup returning that won the Razorbacks’ 11th NCAA title…Leader of a young but talented squad…Earned two individual titles and a second place finish in the Hogs’ first three meets of the season.

2001: Tied for top individual honors with teammate ALISTAIR CRAGG at the Arkansas Invitational with a time of 19:50…UA’s top finisher and runnerup overall at the Cowboy Jamboree (24:04)…Ran a personal best 29:52 to take the tape at the Chile Pepper Invitational.

CHRIS MULVANEY
5-7, 132, Sophomore
Bolton, England
(Kirkbie Kendal)

OUTLOOK: Could be one of the keys to quality depth in the UA lineup…McDonnell is looking for him to step up and bolster the Hogs’ quest for another national championship.

2001: Crossed the line sixth in the first outing of the season at the Arkansas Invitational…Ran the four-mile course in 30:37…Tallied a 48th-place finish at the Cowboy Jamboree (25:44)…Scored for the Hogs with a 36th place finish (31:31) at the Chile Pepper Invitational.

JASON SANDFORT
6-3, 152, Freshman
West Plains, Mo.
(West Plains HS)

OUTLOOK: Emerged as one of the most talented newcomers in the UA program…Didn’t compete at the Arkansas Invitational, but strengthened his hold on a lineup spot with an 11th place finish in his first collegiate race at the Cowboy Jamboree and a ninth place finish at the Chile Pepper Invitational.

2001: Finished 11th in his first collegiate race at the Cowboy Jamboree…Turned in a time of 24:38 on the hilly terrain of the Stillwater course…Earned his first collegiate top 10 finish with a ninth place showing (30:22) at the Chile Pepper Invitational.





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