FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –No. 5 Arkansas cross country earned its trip to the NCAA Championships with a first-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships in Waco, Texas on Saturday morning.
The Razorbacks scored 24 points en route to the regional title win. The No. 21 Texas Longhorns, also earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, were second with a team score of 51 points. Lamar, ranked No. 3 in the South Central Region, rounded out the top three with 96 points. Arkansas finished five of its scorers in the top ten and all seven of its harriers in the top 20.
“We had a very good meet,” McDonnell said. “It couldn’t have gone any better. Our top runners were really under control. Adam (Perkins) and Tyler (Hill) also had really good runs. It’s just what we needed.”
Peter Kosgei was the top finisher for the fourth time in six meets for the Cardinal and White with a runner-up finish and a 10K time of 29:42.4. Shadrack Songok of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was the race winner (29:40.5) but was not competing as part of a team so his first-place point was allocated to Kosgei. The Kapsabet, Kenya native was also the top finisher at the 2005 NCAA South Central Regional Championships with his runner-up finish and a time of 30:30.25.
Shawn Forrest was the third runner to cross the line and the second Razorback. He clocked a 10K time of 29:43.1. Seth Summerside, bettering his 2005 12th-place finish by six spots, crossed the finish line in sixth place with a 30:09.5 10K time. Captain Kenny Cormier was eighth (30:16.0) and Scott MacPherson (10th) rounded out the UA scorers and the top 10 with his time of 30:22.2. Both Cormier and MacPherson made their NCAA South Central Championships debuts.
“It’s very encouraging (to have our top scorers in the top 10),” McDonnell said. “Our top guys really ran good and under control. It’s very encouraging.”
Also competing, but finishing out of the scoring five, were Tyler Hill (17th; 30:50.7) and Adam Perkins (19th; 31:02.0).
The Razorbacks have won 17-consecutive NCAA South Central titles since 1990 and 28 of 29 South Central Championships awarded since 1978 (The loss came in 1989). Arkansas harriers have won 18 individual NCAA South Central Regional titles. The last came in 2004 from Josphat Boit who clocked a time of 29:43 to win the event.
Complete details and results of the NCAA South Central Regional Championships can be found at www.baylorbears.com.