FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On the heels of a third place finish at the NCAA Outdoor championships the Arkansas men’s program claimed the runner-up spot in the final standings of the John McDonnell Program of the Year award, announced Tuesday morning by the USTFCCCA. Arkansas previously won the award in 2012-13.
The John McDonnell Program of the Year award is named after USTFCCCA hall of famer and former Arkansas head coach, John McDonnell who led his teams to five NCAA triple crowns and a combined 40 national championships. The award, which began in 2008-09 measures a program’s combined success in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track and field. Points are awarded based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Championship with first place equaling one point. This is the third consecutive year the Razorbacks have finished as one of the top three programs.
The Razorbacks quest for the top program award kicked off with a fifth consecutive SEC Cross Country title led by SEC Runner of the Year Stanley Kebenei. The senior from Nakuru, Kenya set the pace for the Arkansas’ victory at the 2014 NCAA South Central Regional Championships garnering regional runner of the year accolades for his first place finish. The Razorback men concluded their season placing 28th at the national meet with Kebenei posting a sixth place showing.
Arkansas didn’t miss a beat switching gears from cross country to indoor track & field. The Razorbacks scored a second-place finish at the SEC Championships assisted by double champion Kemoy Campbell who won the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Andrew Irwin (pole vault) and SEC Runner of the Year Omar McLeod (60mH) also won their respective events. Keeping the momentum from the SEC Championships, Arkansas went on to finish third at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships, highlighted by a collegiate-record performance by McLeod in the 60 meter hurdles. Campbell (5,000m) and Jarrion Lawson (long jump) delivered runner-up performances.
Behind 10 qualifiers out of the NCAA West Preliminary, Arkansas placed third at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships following spectacular performances by Lawson and McLeod who led the group scoring in multiple events. Lawson scored the team’s first eight points in the long jump on day one of the meet and returned to the track on the final day of competition to pick up a national title in the 4×100 meter relay with McLeod, Kenzo Cotton, and Marqueze Washington. Lawson also earned a bronze medal in the 100 meters and a sixth place finish in the 4×400 meter relay with the same quartet from 4×100. McLeod finished his season undefeated in the 110 meter hurdles, claiming an individual crown in a wind-assisted world-leading time of 13.01.
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