Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Campbell first, UA women second at Wisconsin
Arkansas' Kemoy Campbell approaches the finish line during the the 25th annual Chile Pepper Cross County Festival Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas senior Kemoy Campbell finished first in the 8K race at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Saturday.
Campbell won with a time of 23:12, just 3 seconds off a course record. It was the second great individual finish for Campbell, who was second at the Chile Pepper Festival two weeks ago, finishing 8 seconds behind defending national champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech.
“Kemoy was solid,” Arkansas men's coach Chris Bucknam said. “He doesn’t think it was his best race, but any time you lead a race from start to finish is an impressive feat. It was an impressive performance and he has plenty left in the tank.”
Stanley Kebenei finished 23rd overall for the Razorbacks and Gabe Gonzalez was 67th. Solomon Haile (75th) and Patrick Rono (100) also finished among the top 100 individuals.
The Razorbacks' men, ranked sixth nationally, finished seventh in the team standings at Wisconsin in a race featuring 17 ranked teams. It was Arkansas' last meet before the SEC meet next month in Florida.
“Obviously we were hoping to have a little bit higher finish,” Bucknam said. "We still have a lot of season left, we are set up right now for SEC Championship and nationals and we know our best races are still ahead of us.”
The No. 8 Arkansas women finished second overall in Wisconsin against a field including 17 other ranked teams. The Razorbacks finished ahead of No. 1 Providence, No. 4 Washington and No. 7 New Mexico.
Juniors Grace Heymsfield and Shannon Klenke finished sixth and eighth individually for Arkansas. No. 3 Arizona finished first in the team standings.
“We are elated,” women's coach Lance Harter said. “Our kids took the lead by the 2K mark and then it was a battle between us and Arizona. We had some really nice breakthroughs today. Our top three ran superb and I think we established ourselves as a national contender. I feel very positive and I think it’s going to be a very special year.”
The Razorbacks were the preseason pick to win both the men's and women's races at the SEC meet.