FAYETTEVILLE – In celebration of its victory at the 2011 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championship, the University of Arkansas men’s cross country team was honored Thursday evening with a reception hosted by Chancellor G. David Gearhart at the Wallace W. and Jama W. Fowler House. The on-campus celebration was in recognition of the Razorbacks’ league-title run Oct. 31 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Gearhart and his wife Jane, in conjunction with Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long, formed the initiative to recognize Razorback teams that have won an SEC Championship with a ceremony at the Fowler House, home of Chancellor and Mrs. Gearhart.
"While the Chancellor and his wife open their home to many faculty members and students, I think this program has been here more than any other group on campus," Long said addressing the team. "We’re pleased to have you back here and it was an honor for me to be there with you in Knoxville for that SEC Championship. We are all very, very proud of you."
Arkansas men’s cross country student-athletes, coaches and staff were joined by members of the University administration for the ceremony. After comments from Chancellor Gearhart, Long and head coach Chris Bucknam, members of the team were presented with a Chancellor’s Award medal for their achievements during the season.
At the 2011 conference meet, the Razorbacks ran to the program’s 19th SEC cross country team title and second under Bucknam. Arkansas was paced by SEC champion Eric Fernandez, the 11th individual title for the Razorbacks since joining the conference. The team victory was Arkansas’ 36th overall cross country title, dating back to the team’s days as a member of the Southwest Conference.
With their efforts, Fernandez, Duncan Phillips and Rick Elliott were named to the All-SEC First Team, while Chuol Dey and Patrick Rono earned spots on the All-SEC Second Team. Rono also garnered a place on the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Thursday’s reception marked back-to-back visits for the Razorback cross country team which also captured the SEC crown in 2010. Arkansas was previously honored at the Fowler House in August in recognition of its win at the 2011 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Athens, Ga.
For more information regarding Razorback cross country and track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.