TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Arkansas finished fourth in the NCAA Cross Country Championships for the second consecutive meet, scoring 195 points on Saturday at the Apalachee Regional Park. Three Razorbacks – Amon Kemboi, Gilbert Boit, and Emmanuel Cheboson – placed among the top 20 to earn All-America accolades.
“I’m so proud of this team and they did an unbelievable job all season,” said Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “The guys competed really hard, and we had three All-Americans. We came in ranked ninth and finished fourth. I couldn’t be happier with the effort that our guys gave.”
Kemboi led the Razorbacks over the 10,000m distance, placing 12th in 29:13.1. Boit followed in 15th place with a 29:16.4 clocking while Cheboson posted a 29:17.4 in 17th place.
Entering the meet ranked No. 9, Arkansas finished behind defending national champion Northern Arizona (92), Iowa State (137), and Oklahoma State (186). The Razorbacks scoring five included the following places (10-13-14-50-108) with a span of 69.9 seconds.
The Razorbacks finished ahead of five teams ranked ahead of them, which included No. 2 BYU, No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 5 Colorado, No. 7 Stanford, and No. 8 Wisconsin.
Andrew Kibet was the fourth Arkansas finisher, placing 56th overall and 50 in team scoring with a 29:42.7. Myles Richter competed the Razorbacks team score, placing 127th overall and 108 in team scoring with a 30:23.0.
The sixth and seventh finishers for Arkansas were Jacob McLeod (161st, 30:41.3) and Ryan Murphy (248th, 33:03.1). There were 250 finishers among a field of 253.
With a strong start, the Razorbacks were in second place at the first split, then third at 2k. Over the next three splits Arkansas fluctuated between fifth and sixth – 3k (6), 4k (5), 5k (6). By 6,000m, though, the Razorbacks moved back into third place and remained there through the next three splits – at 7k, 8k, and 9k.
“We came in here competing for a national title,” stated Bucknam. “All those guys had the experience, we were dialed in on it, and came up a little bit short. We beat a lot of teams today, and I’m just really proud of the overall effort from the team.
“The kids did a great job. I’m so proud of Amon, Gilbert and Emmanuel. They’ve been our leaders the whole year. Andrew and Myles also did very well, and I’m proud of them. This is a really tough race.”
South Central Region winner Texas placed 14th with 393 points while Ole Miss finished 15th with 395 points. Alabama was 27th with 640 points.
“We never mentioned Luke Meade all year, we sorely missed him today,” Bucknam said of the 2020 All-American who was injured during the summer. “He was a returning All-American, but we persevered and moved forward with the guys we had.
“We made a run at it, and hopefully we can continue to do that. We have a phenomenal indoor and outdoor track team and we’re looking forward to showing it off.”
NCAA Championships | Cross Country
Teams: 1. Northern Arizona (1) 92, 2. Iowa State (6) 137, 3. Oklahoma State (3) 186, 4. Arkansas (9) 195, 5. Stanford (7) 236, 6. Tulsa (10) 237, 7. BYU (2) 246, 8. Colorado (5) 249, 9. Notre Dame (4) 280, 10. Wake Forest (17) 356, 11. Wisconsin (8) 361, 12. Harvard (29) 364, 13. Washington (12) 373, 14. Texas (13) 393, 15. Ole Miss (15) 395.
Arkansas | All-America
- Amon Kemboi, 15. Gilbert Boit, 17. Emmanuel Cheboson