Razorbacks to Begin Season with Arkansas Invit
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas cross country team will open the 2003 season by hosting the Arkansas Invitational on September 5. The men’s four-mile race will take place at 7 p.m., on the Razorback Cross Country Course with Tulsa and Missouri Southern joining the Hogs.
“This will be a good opportunity to see where we are for this time of year,” Arkansas assistant Danny Green said. “Since we run this race every year, we can go back to last year’s results and compare our progress. It will also be a good time to see how the newcomers perform; I’m expecting them to run well.”
Ten Razorbacks will represent the UA at the invitational meet. Senior Chris Mulvaney; junior Jason Sandfort and junior transfer Eric Gross; sophomores Luis Bordes, Matt Gunn, James Hatch, Michael Taylor and sophomore transfer Abdi Dubed; and true freshmen Adam Perkins and Michael Poe will all be taking to the course on Friday evening.
Last year Sandfort crossed the line in 31st at the NCAA Championships and will be looked to finish high again in the new season. At the 2002 SEC Championships Bordes helped Arkansas clinch another league crown when he registered a 15th place showing.
The newcomers will also be ones to watch as each boasts exceptional individual accolades from their previous schools. Gross transfered from UALR and as a freshman he came in 15th at the Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Championships, while Perkins was a two-time Missouri state cross country champion in high school.
With the 2003 campaign beginning the Razorback harriers have high expectations. They were recently picked by the SEC coaches in a preseason poll to successfully gain their 30th 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 12 cross country crowns. The 2003 SEC Cross Country Championships will be held in Athen, Ga., on November 3.
Next, the Razorbacks will travel to the Missouri Southern Invitational on September 20, in Joplin, Mo., before going to the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla., on October 4. They will then return to Fayetteville to host the 10,000-meter Chile Pepper Run on October 18.
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