FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior Scott MacPherson won the 8K race at the Missouri Southern Stampede and paced the Hogs to the title win with 22 points. The hosting Missouri Southern Lions finished second with 143 points.
“I was very pleased with everyone’s performance today,” head coach John McDonnell said. “They were aggressive and everyone ran to their potential. It was a great team atmosphere. Scott MacPherson, Tyler Hill, Shawn Forrest and Matt Munoz, our top four guys, did a really great job today. Tyler Hill proved during the indoor season that he can run with anybody and he showed that today. He is a great athlete.”
MacPherson, the race runner-up in 2006, won the event with a time of 23:46.00, a new 8K personal best. He bettered his time by almost 30 seconds from a year ago (24:21.6).
“We went out ahead of the crowd and just settled in,” MacPherson said. “At about two miles, we broke away from the pack and it was myself, Tyler (Hill) and Shawn (Forrest), with a couple of runners from other schools. We were just really relaxed. It was a fun way to open up the season. It felt like a practice run for us.”
Senior Tyler Hill finished second overall and was the second team finisher for the Hogs. He clocked a time of 23:48.00, also an 8K personal best.
“It really did feel like a tough practice run for us”, Hill said. “Especially when Scott (MacPherson), Shawn (Forrest) and I broke away from the pack. It was a fast training run. The strength was definitely there. There weren’t as many runners out front and I just sat behind the top four guys and made my way up. We didn’t have the goal of finishing 1-2-3 going into the race but that’s what developed half way through the race when we were running by ourselves.”
Senior Shawn Forrest, the race winner from a week ago at the Arkansas Duels, finished third overall and third for the Razorbacks with his time of 23:54.00. Senior Matt Munoz was the Hogs’ fourth scorer with a time of 24:15.00 and a fifth-place finish overall.
Lane Boyer, making his Razorback debut, was the Hogs’ fifth scorer. He finished 11th overall with a time of 24:50. Rio Reina was 21st with a time of 25:09. Michael Chinchar, also making his Razorback debut, was 25th with an 8K time of 25:14. Freshman Duncan Phillips clocked a time of 25:22.00, good for a 29th-place finish.
“Our three freshmen did a great job,” McDonnell said. “Rio Reina had a real solid race, too. We have been training hard so they are a little tired. When they get a little more speed training done, it will help a lot. We almost had four guys break 24 minutes, I don’t know if we have ever done that before.”
The Razorbacks will return to the course Sat., Sept. 29 for the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree. For a complete schedule and results of Arkansas cross country, visit www.hogwired.com.