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Razorbacks Extend Conference Title Streak to 2

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks Extend Conference Title Streak to 2
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -The University of Arkansas men’s cross country team overcame unusually hot and humid conditions Monday and added another chapter to its dynasty with a first-place finish in the 2000 Southeastern Conference Championship at the Harry Pritchett Golf Course.

The Hogs placed three runners in the top four and all five scorers in the top 10 to claim their 27th – consecutive conference title – a streak that began with the 1974 Southwest Conference championship – and 10th in a row since joining the SEC in 1991.

“We like to go out a little faster in the beginning,” UA head coach John McDonell said, “but because of the heat and humidity we couldn’t. I think these are the worst conditions ever (for an SEC cross country championship) since we joined the conference.”

The victory gave UA a sweep of the men’s and women’s titles for the eighth time with head coach Lance Harter’s Lady Razorbacks claiming their third-consecutive SEC title and eighth overall earlier in the day on the same course.

Led by senior James Karanu (24:23.75) in second place, senior Murray Link (24:30.15) in third and sophomore Daniel Lincoln (24:35.87) in fourth, the Razorbacks scored 27 points to claim the championship. Junior Mark Thompson (25:18.04) placed eighth place and senior Frans Schimper (25:29.47) placed 10th to round out the scoring for the Razorbacks. Other Arkansas finishers included senior Ryan Travis (25:34.21) in 11th place, senior Sharif Karie (25:41.81) in 13th and freshman Chris Mulvaney (25:51.86) in 14th.

“The heat was getting to us, but we tried our best,” Karanu said. “There’s almost a month for the weather to cool off before nationals.”

“Murray Link ran a great race,” McDonnell said. “He was very gutsy. I’m glad for Mark Thompson and Frans Schimper. They came up and picked up the slack when two of our top five dropped back. Our freshman, Chris Mulvaney, finished 14th and I’m tickled pink for him.”

Host Alabama finished second with 43 points, followed by third-place Florida with 98 points, fourth-place LSU with 115 points and fifth-place Auburn with 134 points.

“It was very hot and humid, but everybody was running in it,” McDonnell said. “Alabama had a great meet at home. They had two really good runners.”

In his first season since transferring from South Alabama, Alabama’s David Kimani (24:19.03) – the defending NCAA individual champion – edged out Karanu by just under five seconds for the individual title, but the Arkansas senior hopes to turn the tables at the NCAA Cross Country Championship in Ames, Iowa, on Nov. 20.

“Everybody is beatable and I think I can do it,” Karanu said. “I’ll just have to train hard and focus. That’s one of my last meets and I want to finish on top.”

“I’m happy with third place,” Link said. “The last mile-and-a-half, the heat really got to me and I think it affected a few of us. This makes a statement for the team. A lot of people were saying Arkansas was down, but this proves we’re right on track. We’re just going to have to have a few guys step up when it counts.”

“It felt very good to finish,” said Thompson, whose eighth-place finish was critical when Karie and Travis fell behind the leaders. “I was kind of concerned with the heat. I was sick yesterday, but it didn’t affect me. A bad day for (Karie and Thompson) is a good day for most people.”

Arkansas will return to action at the NCAA District VI Championships Nov. 11 in Denton, Texas. The Razorbacks will be in search of their third-consecutive national championship and 11th in school history when they travel to the 2000 NCAA Cross Country Championship Nov. 20 in Ames, Iowa.

2000 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP
HARRY PRITCHETT GOLF COURSE – TUSCALOOSA, ALA.
OCT. 30, 2000
TEAM — POINTS
1. ARKANSAS — 27
2. Alabama — 43
3. Florida — 98
4. LSU — 115
5. Auburn — 134
6. Georgia — 162
7. Tennessee — 163
8. Ole Miss — 174
9. Kentucky — 245
10. Vanderbilt — 292

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (SCHOOL) — TIME
1. David Kimani (Alabama) — 24:19.03
2. JAMES KARANU (ARKANSAS) — 24:23.75
3. MURRAY LINK (ARKANSAS) — 24:30.15
4. DANIEL LINCOLN (ARKANSAS) — 24:35.87
5. Chris Mutai (Alabama) — 24:44.44
6. Japheth Koech (Alabama) — 25:00.61
7. Chris Duncan (Florida) — 25:11.91
8. MARK THOMPSON (ARKANSAS) — 25:18.04
9. Likhaya Dayile (LSU) — 25:25.92
10. FRANS SCHIMPER (ARKASAS) — 25:29.47

OTHER ARKANSAS FINISHERS — TIME
11. RYAN TRAVIS (ARKANSAS) — 25:34.21
13. SHARIF KARIE (ARKANSAS) — 25:41.81
14. CHRIS MULVANEY (ARKANSAS) — 25:51.86



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