FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s cross country team will compete in its third meet of the season on Saturday in the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla.
The Razorbacks, ranked No. 1 in the country, are looking to their 17th meet in a row, having won every meet they have entered since finishing second to Stanford at the 1997 NCAA Championships. The Hogs are also hoping to grab their third meet win of the season.
“This is the meet that we use a yardstick to see how good we are because it is a very tough course, and it is the first time that we will have any really good competition,” UA head coach John McDonnell said. “It will tell us a little bit about the character of our team. It is not going to be easy. There will be a lot of great runners up front. Out of this, we will find out how good we really are. The ranking is one thing, but I want to see were we are. ”
Competing for the Razorbacks are Fernando Cabada, Alan Dunleavy, Ryan Joseph, James Karanu, Sharif Karie, Daniel Lincoln, Murray Link, Chris Mulvaney and Phil Yoder.
“James has got to be the big dog,” McDonnell said. “Sharif is a guy that has changed his mindset in his last year, the writing is on the wall, and he is a very talented young man. Murray Link has come around real good. We will just see how good we are. This will be a good indication of were we are.”
Karanu has led the Razorbacks in the first two meets of the season as the overall winner and the first Razorback across the line in both meets.
When asked about where his team is in its preparation for defending its NCAA title in November, McDonnell said, “We really don’t want to be in super shape at this point, but this is the type of course that separates the men from the boys. If you are not tough then you are not going to win the national title.”
The men’s race at the Cowboy Jamboree is slated to begin at 9:40 a.m CT.