The Razorbacks have come home with the team trophy in each of the last three NCAA cross country meets including the 2000 championship at Ames, Iowa. Arkansas has won more NCAA cross country championships than any other school.
UA SEEKS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE NCAA CROWN: Arkansas will be looking to extend its NCAA cross country championship streak to four and add to its record 11 cross country national championships when the Hogs take to the course in Furman, S.C.
THE FIELD: A total of 31 teams will compete for the 2001 NCAA Cross Country team championship. Joining Arkansas in the championship meet are: Air Force, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young, Butler, Colorado, Colorado State, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Northern Arizona, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Portland, Providence, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, UC-Santa Barbara, Villanova, Wake Forest, William & Mary and Wisconsin.
THE RANKING: Arkansas remains third in the latest edition of the (Nov. 12) MONDO men’s cross country rankings. The Hogs received 369 points in this week’s listing including a first place vote.
Colorado and Stanford hold down the top two spots, respectively. Colorado received 7 first place votes in the listing while Stanford garnered eight first place nods.
ALL-TIME NCAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER: The University of Arkansas has won more NCAA Division I-A national titles than any other school in collegiate sports history.
The Hogs have earned 11 national championships including the last four team titles awarded. Michigan State ranks second with eight while UTEP has won seven. Oregon (4), and Villanova (4) round out the top five.
Combined with the 16 national championships in indoor track and field and the 9 outdoor track and field national titles, the Razorbacks have captured 36 national crowns. All 36 championships have come under coach John McDonnell.
UA AIMING AT CONSECUTIVE NCAA STREAK: Arkansas will go for its fourth straight NCAA cross country title on Monday. Only two other times in NCAA history has a school won four straight cross country titles.
The Razorbacks won four in a row from 1990-93 following UTEP’s initial record string from 1978-81. Arkansas will be looking to add its name to that distinguished list for the second time in the 2001 championships.
CONFERENCE DOMINATION: With Arkansas’ victory at the 2001 SEC Championships, the Razorbacks have now won 28 consecutive league cross country crowns. The Hogs won 17-straight Southwest Conference titles before moving to the Southeastern Conference in 1991. Since that time, Arkansas has won all 11 league titles contested in cross country.
The last time Arkansas didn’t win the conference crown was in 1973 when the Hogs finished second to Texas in a race at Austin, Texas. McDonnell led his Razorbacks to a win in 1974 and the program hasn’t looked back since.
SEC RECORD STREAK: Arkansas’ 12-consecutive SEC cross country titles isn’t only the longest such league run in that sport, it is also the third longest streak by any team in any sport in league history.
Prior to Arkansas entrance into the SEC, Tennessee won 15 consecutive league outdoor track and field titles from 1964-78. Florida captured 13 swimming and diving crowns from 1956-68.
Arkansas’ current string trails only those two streaks in SEC history. The Razorbacks have won every cross country title since entering the league 10 years ago.
The Hogs’ current streak of 12-straight league crowns is the longest current league streak in any sport. Auburn is second with five consecutive swimming and diving championships.
TOTAL PROGRAM: In an era when many major schools allot a majority of their scholarships to either cross country, indoor or outdoor track, exclusively, Arkansas continues to compete at the highest level in all three sports.
The Razorbacks have won a total of 36 national championships including 11 in cross country, 16 in indoor track and field and 9 in outdoor track and field. In that same time span, Arkansas has captured 67 conference championships including 28 in cross country, 21 in indoor track and field and 18 outdoor track titles.
In 10 of the last 11 years, Arkansas has earned at least two national championships in the same season. The Razorbacks have won the national triple crown five times (1984-85, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1998-99).
YOUNG GUNS: Despite returning only one of its top seven runners from a year ago, Arkansas appears to be primed for another run at that national crown. Junior DANIEL LINCOLN is the only Razorback that helped the Hogs win their 11th NCAA cross country championship at the 2000 NCAA Championships in Ames, Iowa.
The Hogs’ lineup for the 2001 NCAA meet is slated to utilize a freshman (JASON SANDFORT), four sophomores (FERNANDO CABADA, ALISTAIR CRAGG, SILVERUS KIMELI, CHRIS MULVANEY) and two juniors (DIRK HEINZE, DANIEL LINCOLN). In addition, sophomore WESTLEY ALKIN will travel as an alternate.
ALL-SEC PERFORMERS: Six Razorback runners earned All-SEC honors at the 2001 SEC Cross Country Championships at Auburn, Ala. Sophomore ALISTAIR CRAGG (2nd) and junior DANIEL LINCOLN (3rd) led the way as the Razorbacks captured their 11th consecutive SEC cross country title.
In addition to Cragg and Lincoln, SILVERUS KIMELI (4th), JASON SANDFORT (7th), DIRK HEINZE (8th) and FERNANDO CABADA (11th) all earned all-league accolades. Cabada earned the honor despite not scoring for the Hogs in the SEC meet.
LONG STORIED NCAA HISTORY: Arkansas will be making its 32nd appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships when the Hogs take to the course on Monday.
The Razorbacks have appeared in 27 straight championships dating back to 1974. Only Wisconsin (29) boasts a current string of appearances longer than Arkansas.
The Hogs have captured a NCAA record 11 national championships including the last three in a row. Arkansas has also earned four second place finishes, two third place showings and a pair of fifth place outings.
INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS: Arkansas’ success at the NCAA Championships hasn’t only been in the team competition. The Razorbacks boast three NCAA individual champions including a back-to-back winner.
Joe Falcon was the Hogs’ first individual NCAA champion after finishing in 29:14.97 in a meet hosted by the University of Virginia in 1987.
Godfrey Siamusiye is the only two-time individual winner in Razorback history. Siamusiye captured the individual crown in 1995 with a 30:09 pace at Ames, Ia. He then defended his title in 1996 in Tuscon, Arizona with a time of 29:49.
Arkansas’ three individual titles ranks in a tie for fourth among NCAA teams. Washington State (7), Kansas (5) and Oregon (4) rank ahead of the Razorbacks while Indiana (3) and UTEP (3) are tied the Hogs in that category.
LAST TIME AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Braving temperatures in the teens and a wind-chill factor below zero, four Razorback runners placed among the first 24 finishers to give Arkansas its third straight title at the 2000 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Ames, Iowa.
The Razorbacks scored 83 team points to edge Colorado’s total of 94 and secure their 11th championship. Providence (121), Stanford (149) and Wisconsin (167) rounded out the top five in the team competition.
James Karanu (30:42.7) led the way for the Hogs finishing 11th. Teammates Sharif Karie (30:45.4) and Murray Link (30:47.9) were close behind, finishing 13th and 16th, respectively. DANIEL LINCOLN (30:56.8) crossed the line in 24th place while Ryan Travis (31:02.8) finished 34th.
Providence’s Keith Kelly won the individual crown in a time of 30:14.5.
LOGGING LINCOLN: Junior DANIEL LINCOLN has been leading the pack so far this year for the Razorbacks. In five races this season, Lincoln has captured top individual honors twice as well as earning two runnerup finishes and a third place showing. The Fayetteville, Ark., native has finished no lower than third in any race this season.
Lincoln crossed the line with UA teammate ALISTAIR CRAGG to win the Arkansas Invitational (4 miles) in a time of 19:50. After a second-place finish at the 8K Cowboy Jamboree (24:04), Lincoln ran away from the field to win the Chile Pepper Invitational (10K) in 29:52. He posted a third place showing (24:07) at the SEC Championships before finishing second at the South Central Regional (30:13) in his last outing.
Lincoln won SEC Male Cross Country Athlete of the Week after besting the field at the Chile Pepper Invitational.
Lincoln finished 24th at the 2000 NCAA Cross Country Championships in a time of 30:56.8 to help the Hogs to their 11th national cross country title. He is the only Razorback runner on this year’s roster that competed in last year’s championships.
CRAGG COMING ON: Sophomore ALISTAIR CRAGG has made the most of his first year in a Razorback uniform. The SMU transfer, has quickly established himself near the top of the Arkansas lineup.
Cragg has competed in four races this season earning a top three finish in all four outings. He crossed the line with teammate DANIEL LINCOLN to win the Arkansas Invitational (19:50) before posting back-to-back third place finishes at the Cowboy Jamboree (24:10) and the Chile Pepper Invitational (30:06).
The Johannesburg, South Africa, product battled 1999 NCAA champion David Kimani, of Alabama, to the wire at the SEC Championships earlier this season on his way to runnerup honors. His time of 23:48 was only two seconds off Kimani’s winning pace.
Cragg didn’t compete at the South Central Regional in College Station, Texas.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Razorback sophomore SILVERUS KIMELI will be making the 2001 NCAA Cross Country Championships a family affair of sorts.
For the third time this season, Kimeli will compete against his brother Shadrack Kimeli (Kansas State) who is an automatic individual qualifier for the championships.
Earlier this season, Silverus (14th) competed against Shadrack (5th) and another brother Moses (6th) from South Plains JC at the Cowboy Jamboree.
Silverus (11th) and Shadrack (7th) also ran in the Chile Pepper Invitational two weeks later.
FRESHMAN IMPACT: In a lineup that features no seniors and only two juniors, freshman JASON SANDFORT has made the most of his opportunity to contribute this season.
A true freshman from West Plains, Mo., Sandfort has earned two top 10 finishes in his first three collegiate races. Sandfort has improved his standing in every race this season.
He opened with an 11th place showing at the Cowboy Jamboree (24:38) before tallying a ninth place finish at the Chile Pepper Invitational.
Sandfort turned in his best effort at the SEC Championships where he finished seventh in a time of 24:37. The freshman earned All-SEC honors for his performance.
OTHER UA TIDBITS: Junior DIRK HEINZE is coming off his best finish of the season (8th) at the SEC Championships…Heinze crossed the line in a season best 24:41…Sophomore FERNANDO CABADA is one of only five Razorbacks to compete in all five meets this season…Cabada has earned two top 10 finishes this season including a 10th place showing at the South Central Regional.