The No. 14 Razorbacks cross country team did not disappoint its home crowd, claiming the team title with a score of 38-points Saturday morning at the Chile pepper Festival hosted at Agri Park.
Courtesy Razorback Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Arkansas Men XC ©Razorback Athletics 2018
“I thought it was a good opener for our full team,” said head coach Chris Bucknam. ” Obviously, goal number one was to win the meet, and we did that. We saw some guys in a uniform for the first time in cross country today. Gilbert Boit did an outstanding job; I thought our redshirt-freshman Ryan Murphy who was our No. 3 guy and finished fourth in the race did an outstanding job as well; I’m very pleased with him. This is the earliest we’ve ever run the Chile Pepper. The course was a little soft after the rain last night, but this time of year and where we’re at with our training, I thought it was a good opener for our team. We still have a lot of work to do, our spread from 1-5 will need to be cut down, but we have three weeks before Penn State. I know the culture of this group, and they’re going to work awfully hard to get ready for the Penn State National, and the SEC meet. It’s great to be on our home course; there was a lot of energy today, we’re fortunate to have such a great venue with the Chile Pepper.”
Gilbert Boit (24:05.8) led the Razorbacks with a second-place finish, just four one-hundredths of a second off the first-place finisher former Razorback Frankline Tonui who crossed the line in 24 minutes, 5.8 seconds.
Arkansas’ No. 2 was senior Cameron Griffith who finished third in 24:23.0. Rounding out the scoring for the Razorbacks were Ryan Murphy (24:28.7), Matt Young (25:01.9), and Ethan Moehn (25:08.8) in fourth, 18th, and 24th-place, respectively.
“This time of year we’re not too worried about the details, we have a macro type of scope on our performances at this point in the season,” said Bucknam. “We’re going to get a lot better, we just have to stay healthy and work hard,” Bucknam finished.