FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Following a solid outing at the Chile Pepper Festival Arkansas’ men’s cross country team continued their ascent up the USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll coming in this week at No. 13.
The Razorbacks are now the highest nationally ranked SEC cross country program with Ole Miss at No. 19.
Entering the season, Arkansas opted to focus on the development of their newcomers giving their freshman and transfers some time to get acclimated to the training style and expectations that come with being a Razorback. Prior to their recent home meet Arkansas competed at the Iona Meet of Champions which saw a scoring five made up of three new Razorbacks and only two returners finish second in team standings out of 10 teams including No. 5 Iona and No. 11 Wisconsin. NJCAA two-time cross country All-American Frankline Tonui and Arkansas redshirt-junior Christian Heymsfield were the top two overall finishers.
Back at Agri Park this past weekend, Arkansas was led by sophomore Alex George who earned SEC Runner of the Week honors for his 23:35.68 performance over the 8K course. Tonui and Heymsfield raced well for the second week in a row crossing the line right behind George to finish third and fourth in division I scoring.
The Chile Pepper Festival was the first competition for five out of Arkansas’ top seven including, George, Austen Dalquist, Jack Bruce, Gabe Gonzalez and Cale Wallace. All seven ran some of the best 8K times around the conference this season with George, Tonui and Heymsfield ranked as the top three of the SEC at that distance.
The Razorbacks shift their focus to Pre-Nationals at Louisville, Ky. where they will likely race against a stacked, nationally-ranked field on the course set to host the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 21.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.