FAYETTEVILLE – Senior Michael Chinchar won his first collegiate cross country race and paced the No. 13 Arkansas Razorback men’s cross country team to a victory at the season-opening Arkansas Invitational.
The Razorbacks and Missouri Southern ran a 6,600-meter race at Agri Park, in Fayetteville, Friday night. Arkansas won the team race with a perfect 15 points and Missouri Southern scored 50 points. Arkansas swept the top 10 spots and finished all 11 runners in the top 14.
"We got some things accomplished tonight," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "I think the main thing right now is getting the team back into a rhythm. We are concentrating on the things we do every day during the season, warming up, competing and cooling down. The conditions were good and the course is in good shape. It was great to see Duncan Phillips, back from redshirting, out there running with the group and I think we took a small step forward."
Chinchar took the tape in the 6,600-meter race with a time of 20:33.4. Senior Lane Boyer and sophomore Eric Fernandez tied for second with a time of 20:33.4.
"It was a great meet," Chinchar said. "We wanted to come out and get used to racing again and running as a team. Everyone looked great and we were just having fun out there. That’s all you can ask for at the first meet."
Sophomore Solomon Haile was fourth overall, also clocking a time of 20:33.4. Junior Dey Tuach, making his Razorback debut, finished fifth and was Arkansas final scorer (20:33.5). Sophomores Cameron Efurd (20:36.0) and Aaron Hamilton (20:42.3) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Back from redshirting the 2009 season, junior Duncan Phillips finished eighth overall with a time of 20:45.3 and junior Rick Elliott was ninth in 20:48.2. Sophomores Michael Golden (21:15.3) and Scott Gillespie (21:37.4) finished 10th and 12th, respectively. Freshman Omar Abdi, making his cross country debut for Arkansas, finished 14th with a 4K time of 22:24.5.
The Razorbacks will compete next on Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Missouri Southern Stampede.