FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas senior Said Ahmed and former Razorbacks Alistair Cragg and Daniel Lincoln ran into some fierce competition and some less than ideal pacing on Saturday at the Boston Indoor Games at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston, Mass.
Ahmed finished eighth in the 1,000-meter run in his homecoming to New England. The Boston, Mass., native clocked in at 2:24.53. It was only Ahmed’s second race of the indoor season after running 800 meters last weekend at the Razorback Invitational. The 1,000-meter field included both collegiate and professional competitors. David Krummenacker, one of the United States’ top 800-meter runners, crossed the line first in the 1,000-meter race in a time of 2:21.37.
“The rabbit in the race didn’t start off with a very good pace,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “Everyone was bottled up together and there was some jostling. By the time, the pack cleared up a little bit, Said was blocked in and couldn’t make a charge. Sometimes that happens and it happened tonight. Now, Said can concentrate on the 800 and the mile in a few weeks at the Tyson Invitational. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do down the stretch.”
The finale of the meet featured a loaded field in the two-mile run. Australian Craig Mottram, the pre-race favorite, finished first with an 8:26.54 clip. A pack of runners finished just behind Mottram including Cragg and Lincoln. Ethiopia’s Sileshi Sihine (8:27.03) captured second-place with Cragg (8:27.39) taking third-place honors. Tariku Bekele (8:27.56), Boaz Cheboiywo (8:27.75) and Lincoln (8:27.85) finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
“The two-mile was stacked with a lot of great runners,” McDonnell said. “It was similar to the 1,000 in that it didn’t start on a very good pace either. They went out a little too fast. Mottram is a great runner and Alistair and Daniel were right there in the hunt until the end. Alistair has had a lot of success in Boston and I think they were watching for him tonight.”
Arkansas, ranked second in this week’s Trackwire national poll, will send a full squad next weekend to the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City. In two weeks, the Razorbacks will compete in the Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in their final tune-up before Southeastern Conference Indoors in Gainesville, Fla., on Feb. 24-26.