Razorback Cross Country Opens with Arkansas In
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas cross country team will open its 2002 season with the Arkansas Invitational at the Razorback Cross Country Course on Saturday, September 7, at 9 a.m. Three schools including the UA, Missouri Southern and Tulsa will compete in the four-mile race this weekend.
“It’s good the top guys won’t be running,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “This meet will give the young guys a chance to get out there and prove their worth. They’ll be able to flex their muscles and gain a little bit of confidence.”
Ten Razorbacks will represent the UA at the invitational meet. Seniors Chad Grundy, Patrick Thomas; juniors Westley Alkin, Silverus Kimeli, Robbie Stevens; sophomore Jason Sandfort; red-shirt freshmen Luis Bordes, James Hatch, Michael Taylor; and true freshman Chris Behrens will all compete on Saturday.
Last season Kimeli finished fourth at the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships and 13th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Sandfort finished 32nd as a true freshman at the 2001 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
With the new season beginning the Hogs have high expectations and hope to successfully gain their 29th consecutive conference title. Arkansas has won every conference cross country meet since 1974. The Hogs won 17 in a row while in the Southwest Conference (1974-1990) before moving to the Southeastern Conference. Since joining the SEC in 1991, Arkansas has won all 11 cross country crowns. The 2002 SEC Cross Country Championships will be held in Gainesville, Fla., on November 4.
Next, the Razorbacks will travel to the Missouri Southern Invitational on September 21, in Joplin, Mo., before going to the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla., on October 5. They will then return to Fayetteville to host the 10,000-meter Chile Pepper Run on October 19.
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