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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 Clarion Inn as the Razorbacks were presented with their awards from the 2004-05 season.

Last year Arkansas head coach John McDonnell led his Hogs to their 40th and 41st NCAA Championships and the Southeastern Conference triple crown, which included an unprecedented 31st-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 Wallace Spearmon Jr. was recognized as the team’s Most Outstanding Track Athlete, while Eric Brown was named the Most Outstanding Field Athlete for the second-straight year.

Spearmon earned three NCAA titles and four All-America honors last year. At the NCAA Indoor Championships he broke the American 200-meter record twice in one night and won with an impressive time of 20.10. When the outdoor season rolled around he posted a world-leading time of 19.91 en route to successfully defending his 200-meter crown.

Brown gained his second-career All-America honor in the javelin and captured the NCAA Mideast Regional title. At the McDonnell Invitational he bettered his own school record with a throw of 248-05.

Josphat Boit earned the distinction of being the Most Outstanding Cross Country Runner. He went undefeated through the 2004 season, before finishing third at the national championships. At the 2004 SEC Championships he became the first UA athlete since Michael Power in 1999 to claim the individual title.

Jaanus Uudmae was presented with the team’s Academic Award for maintaining a high standard of scholastic excellence. Uudmae held a 4.0 GPA as a computer science major and was an Academic All-District and All-America selection.

In addition to his academic achievements Uudmae was recognized as one of the captains from last year’s squad. Tyson Gay and Jason Sandfort were also selected by their peers to serve as captains.

After transferring from Harding University in time for the beginning of the indoor season Peter Kosgei was given the Most Valuable Newcomer honor. Kosgei picked up four All-America accolades and four SEC championships in just one semester as a Razorback.

Two-sport athlete Michael Grant was named the Freshman of the Year after he served as UA’s opening leg on the national championship 4×100-meter relay. Grant became the first two-sport athlete since Clyde Scott in 1948 to win a NCAA title when the Hogs sped to a school-record time of 38.49 for the win.

Eleven other Razorbacks were recognized for their All-America performances during the 2004-05 cross country and track and field campaigns. They included Said Ahmed who came in sixth at indoor nationals in the mile. Besides his performance in cross country, Boit was sixth in both the indoor 5,000 and outdoor 10,000 meters.

Omar Brown racked up four honors with his fifth-place finish in the indoor 200 and was a member of the 4×400-meter relay team that was seventh. During the outdoor season he anchored UA’s 4×100-meter relay to gold and came in eighth in the 200 meters. Terry Gatson garnered runner-up honors in the 400 meters at indoor nationals and also ran a leg of the 4×400-meter relay team that was seventh. At outdoor nationals he was seventh in the 400.

At the NCAA Outdoor meet Gay earned third place in the 200 meters and was a member of the victorious 4×100-meter relay. James Hatch surged to a second-place finish in the 800 meters at NCAA Indoor Championships for his third-career All-America honor.

Adam Perkins crossed the line in sixth place in the indoor 3,000 and was fourth in the outdoor 1,500 meters. Marc Rodrigues had a 25th place showing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, while Sandfort came in 20th.

Uudmae competed in the triple jump and finished fourth at the indoor meet and fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. David Wittenmyer gained his first-career All-America honor as a member of the 4×400-meter relay that was seventh at indoor nationals.



Sports Category : Track & Field (M)