10 Nov Waco next stop for Razorbacks on journey to NCAA Championships
Traveling to Waco, Texas, for the first time since 2013 for the NCAA South Central Region meet, No. 7 Arkansas will compete over a 10,000m distance on the Cottonwood Creek golf course at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 12.
Live results will be available through deltatiming.com at the following link: http://results.deltatiming.com/xc/2021-ncaa-d1-xc-south-central-regional
The top two teams from each of the nine regions contested automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, November 20. In addition to the 18 teams who auto qualify, the rest of the 31-team field will be completed with 13 at-large selections.
In addition to the Razorbacks, No. 14 Texas is the only other nationally ranked team among the South Central Region entries. Over the past 20 years, Arkansas and the Longhorns have claimed the pair of automatic spots 16 times from the South Central meet, with UA holding a 14-2 advantage in placing first with UT runner-up.
“Basically, we’ll feel out the race as it goes along, making sure we get a qualifying position with the top two teams advancing automatically to the NCAA Championships,” said Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “We’re running our top seven guys to keep the fires burning.”
During the 2013 version of the South Central Region meet held in Waco, the Razorbacks edged Texas by three points, 34 to 37. In the last South Central meet held in 2019 at Agri Park, the Longhorns defeated Arkansas, 39 to 67, to snap a Razorback six-year winning streak in the regional.
Overall, Arkansas has claimed 38 region titles dating back 1976, and since 2000 has won the South Central Region team title 16 times.
Recently, the Razorbacks and Longhorns both raced in the Pre-National Invitational hosted by Florida State. Arkansas placed third, equaling the score of runner-up Colorado with 128 points, while Texas finished sixth with 233 points.
Teams are limited to seven runners in the region meets. Arkansas will select its seven runners from the following nine runners, six of whom have a combined total of 12 All-Region honors: Gilbert Boit, Emmanuel Cheboson, Amon Kemboi, Andrew Kibet, Jacob McLeod, Ryan Murphy, Myles Richter, Elias Schreml, and Josh Shearer.
“We’re going to run our top seven guys,” said Bucknam. “We’ll go in there trying not to go to the well, and just get a nice run in. We have a veteran team racing, and we should be veteran thinking in how we do it.
“There are good individuals in the race, and Texas is in the mix as well. It’s harder than you think to hold the reigns back. We just hope our guys pay attention out there, get the job done and get qualified.”
Murphy and Richter raced in the 2019 South Central meet, finishing second and fourth among the Razorbacks while earning All-Region honors in placing 13th and 15th overall.
Boit led Arkansas in the 2018 region meet, finishing fifth in the race, while Murphy placed 12th as the third Razorback. Boit, who has earned three All-Region honors, also raced in the South region twice with Tennessee Tech, finishing 11th in 2016 and 13th in 2017. McLeod placed fourth in the 2019 South Region in earning All-Region with Belmont.
Kemboi earned three All-Region honors in the Southeast region while with Campbell. He was runner-up in 2017, then finished fourth twice in 2018 and 2019. Cheboson earned a pair of All-Region honors at Louisville, placing ninth in the Southeast region in 2018 and 12th in 2019.
South Central Region Rankings | November 1
1. Arkansas, 2. Texas, 3. North Texas, 4. Rice, 5. Texas A&M, 6. LSU, 7. McNeese State, 8. Lamar, 9. Incarnate Work, 10. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Individual Winners | Arkansas (21)
2014 – Stanley Kebenei, 2013 – Stanley Kebenei, 2009 – Dorian Ulrey, 2004 – Josphat Boit, 2002 – Alistair Cragg, 1999 – Michael Power, 1998 – Michael Power, 1997 – Ryan Wilson, 1996 – Godfrey Siamusiye, 1995 – Godfrey Siamusiye, 1994 – Jason Bunston, 1993 – Niall Bruton, 1992 – David Welsh, 1991 – Eric Henry, 1990 – Eric Henry, 1989 – Reuben Reina, 1985 – Chris Zinn, 1984 – Roland Reina, 1982 – Tony Leonard, 1980 – David Taylor, 1978 – Mark Muggleton.
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