FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas cross country and track and field head coach John McDonnell announced the addition of six student-athletes for the 2008-09 season. Rick Elliott (Springfield, Mo.), Eric Fernandez (Ballwin, Mo.), Rob Redwine (Tulsa, Okla.), Dylan Roberts (Houston, Texas), Fred Rose (Texarkana, Ark.) and Jake Stephens (Birmingham, Ala.) will be some of the new Razorback faces next fall.
Rick Elliott, of Kickpoo High School, is a 1,600- and 3,200-meter specialist who holds personal bests of 4:15 and 9:24, respectively. The Springfield, Mo. native is a five-time all-state honoree and was the state cross country runner-up his senior season. He finished 25th at the 2007 Foot Locker Cross Country Midwest Championships with a 5K time of 15:41. His cross country 5K best is 15:18. On the track, as a junior, he finished fourth in the 1,600 meters and, as a sophomore, he finished fifth in the 3,200 meters.
Eric Fernandez also runs distance events, holding PRs of 4:22.1 in the 1,600 meters, 9:13.3 in the 3,200 meters and 15:38.10 in the cross country 5K. While competing at Parkway West High School, he was the 2007 state champion in the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:20.73. The Ballwin, Mo. native was the 2007 state cross country champion (15:50) and went on to finish 21st at the 2007 Foot Locker Cross Country Midwest Championships with a 5K time of 15:39.
Rob Redwine recorded personal-best splits of 49.8 in the 400 meters and 1:54.7 in the 800 meters while competing for Jenks High School. In 2007, he was the state runner-up in the 800 meters with a time of 1:55.42. The Tulsa, Okla. native was also a member of the state runner-up 4×800-meter relay (7:57.88).
Dylan Roberts is a native of Houston, Texas and competes for Houston Stratford High School. He has competed in events ranging from 800 meters to cross country. He holds bests of 1:53.68 in the 800 meters, 4:03.9 in the 1,500 meters, 4:22.89 in the 1,600 meters and 16:03.68 in the 5,000 meters. He finished third in the 800 meters at the Region 3-5A Championships, narrowly missing a trip to the state championships.
Fred Rose is a native of Texarkana, Ark. and attends Arkansas High School. A sprints specialist, he holds PRs of 10.52 in the 100 meters, 20.95 in the 200 meters and 47.7 in the 400 meters. Running seven races in one day, he won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races at the 2007 state championships. At the Arkansas Meet of Champions, he clocked times of 10.52, 21.25 and 48.78 to take the 100-, 200- and 400-meter titles.
Jake Stephens is a second generation Razorback. A native of Birmingham, Ala., his father, Randy, was Coach McDonnell’s first individual NCAA Champion. Randy Stephens won the 1,000 yards in a time of 2:07.37 in 1982. He was also named the Most Outstanding Athlete at Texas Relays in 1982.
Jake competes for Mountain Brook High School and ranges from the 200 meters to the 800 meters. He holds PRs of 21.91 in the 200 meters, 47.85 in the 400 meters and 1:52.19 in the 800 meters. He is the 2007 state champion in the 800 meters (1:54.14), edging out current Hog Chris Bilbrew for the title. In 2006, he finished sixth in the 400 meters (49.78) at the state championships. As a freshman, he finished third in the 800 meters at the 2005 state championships (1:57.19).