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Track Athletes Honored at Awards Banquet

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Track Athletes Honored at Awards Banquet

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas track and field team held its annual banquet on Thursday night at the Fayetteville Town Center. The Bank of Fayetteville served as the sponsor while the Razorbacks were presented with their awards from the 2003-04 season.
Last year Arkansas head coach John McDonnell led his Hogs to their 39th NCAA Championship and two Southeastern Conference Championships, which included an unprecedented 30th straight cross country league title. Besides the many team accolades earned last year, several individuals were honored during the awards ceremony.
After their phenomenal performances last year Alistair Cragg and Tyson Gay topped the award stand most of the evening. They were both recognized as co-captains for the track team, while Cragg was given the Most Outstanding Athlete Award and Gay was named as the Most Valuable Newcomer.
Cragg earned four All-America honors for his eighth place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, 3,000 and 5,000-meter national indoor titles and his NCAA 10,000-meter crown. Cragg was also recognized as being a captain for the cross country team in 2003.
Gay tallied five All-America honors in his first year as a Razorback. He finished fourth in the 60-meter dash and fifth in the 200 at the NCAA Indoor Championships. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships he competed in three events, capturing the 100-meter crown, gaining fourth in the 200 and he was a member of the 4×100-meter relay team that came in fifth.
A pair of field athletes tied for the honor of Most Outstanding Field Athlete. Eric Brown (javelin) and Jeremy Scott (pole vault) were great contributors to the team during the outdoor season as they both broke school records and scored at the national meet. Brown was also presented with the team’s Academic Award for maintaining a high standard of scholastic excellence.
After becoming the first Razorback in the history of Arkansas track and field to claim the NCAA Outdoor 200-meter championship Wallace Spearmon Jr. was named the Most Outstanding Freshman.
Ten other Razorbacks were recognized for their All-America performances during the 2003-04 cross country and track and field campaigns. They included Said Ahmed who came in fifth at outdoor nationals in the 1,500. Maurice Bridges crossed the line in ninth in the outdoor 400-meter hurdles. Terry Gatson was a member of the distance medley relay team that garnered runner-up honors at indoor nationals. James Hatch was also on the DMR team and he also finished eighth in the 800 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Creighton Kiper stepped in as an alternate for the 4×100-meter relay team at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and helped the team get fifth place. Chris Mulvaney captured the NCAA outdoor 1,500-meter championship. Jason Sandfort had a 24th place showing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and was 12th in the 10K at indoor nationals.
Michael Taylor served as the anchor leg for the second place DMR team at indoor nationals and Sam Vazquez was another member of that relay combination. Michael Thomas was eighth in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and was a member of the 4×100-meter relay team.



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