FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – One of the first initial signees for the Razorback’s 2015 recruiting class, distance runner Stephen Mugeche is a welcome addition to both the cross country and track programs.
Mugeche has been a top contender in the Missouri cross country circuit qualifying for the state meet all four year years of his high school career. Following a top-50 finish in 2011, Mugeche shaved more than a full minute off his personal best time in his second season to break into the state’s top-five.
His 2013 and 2014 cross country campaigns saw further progression as he moved from state runner-up in his junior year to state champion in his final season.
Mugeche stumbled into the sport because of his competitive nature. Taking part in a mandatory gym class assessment of fitness, the Blue Springs native was determined to beat his classmates in the mile and he did just that.
“My gym teacher told me I ran a pretty good time and I should try running cross country and track and field,” Mugeche said. “I had some success with it so I dropped all the other sports I was involved in to focus on them and I have never looked back.”
Moving from grassy trails to the oval with the changing seasons, Mugeche posted top performances at 800, 1600 and 3200 meters during his 2014 season. His best state finish came in the 3200-meter run where he crossed the line second to claim the runner-up spot in 9:17.61. He ran a career-best in the event of 8:58.87 earlier in the season at the Arcadia Invitational which earned him the number one rank in Missouri and inside the top 35 nationally.
Hoping to continue with the sport following college, Mugeche selected Arkansas because he believed in the training and guidance that Coach Bucknam and his staff provide to their student-athletes.
“Arkansas has a great track program and it’s a place that I can really grow to my full potential as a collegiate student-athlete,” said Mugeche. “I love the sport and would like to pursue it at the post-collegiate level if I get the opportunity and I feel that the great coaching staff at Arkansas can get me there.”
Stephen Mugeche At-A-Glance
Hometown: Blue Springs, Mo.
High School: Blue Springs High School
|800m||MO Class 4 Sectional 4 (5/24/14)||1:55.27|
|1600m||Gary Parker Invitational (4/25/14)||4:12.87|
|Mile||Nike Festival of Miles (6/5/14)||4:12.47|
|3200m||Arcadia Invitational (4/12/14)||8:58.87|
|5K (XC)||Chile Pepper Festival (10/4/14)||15:06.70|
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