NCAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Arkansas men, women score top-15 finishes

By: Democrat-Gazette staff
Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017
Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam watches Saturday, April 22, 2017, during the John McDonnell Invitational at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam watches Saturday, April 22, 2017, during the John McDonnell Invitational at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville's men's and women's cross country teams had top 15 finishes Saturday at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky.

Arkansas' men's team, which came into the meet ranked No. 15, finished fifth for the second consecutive year and scored 259 points.

MEN’S TEAM RESULTS

1.Northern Arizona 74

2.Portland 127

3.BYU 165

4.Stanford 221

5.Arkansas 259

ARKANSAS FINISHERS (10,000 meters)

13.Jack Bruce, senior, 29:34.5

43.Austen Dalquist, senior, 30:04.8

51.Alex George, senior, 30:11.2

86.Cameron Griffith, sophomore, 30:32.9

116.Matt Young, freshman, 30:52.7

166.Andrew Ronoh, junior, 31:16.4

225.Ethan Moehn, junior, 32:05.4

WOMEN’S TEAM RESULTS

1.New Mexico 90

2.San Francisco 105

3.Colorado 139

4.Stanford 165

5.Oregon 203

13.Arkansas 377

ARKANSAS FINISHERS (6,000 meters)

48.Carina Viljoen, sophomore, 20:20.4

87.Nikki Hiltz, senior, 20:37.5

94.Therese Haiss, senior, 20:39.5

104.Taylor Werner, sophomore, 20:44.7

170.Sydney Brown, junior, 21:15.2

171.Ashton Endsley, freshman, 21:15.7

252.Lauren Gregory, freshman, 23:05.5

The Razorbacks' No. 6-ranked women's team finished 13th with 377 points.

No. 1-ranked Northern Arizona won its second consecutive men's championship with 74 points, with Portland taking second with 127 and BYU third with 165.

New Mexico won the women's title with 90 points, San Francisco was second with 139 and Colorado -- ranked No. 1 coming into the meet -- was third with 139.

Arkansas' men's team was led by seniors Jack Bruce, Austen Dalquist and Alex George. Bruce finished 13th, running the 10,000-meter course in 29:39.5. Dalquist was 43rd in 30:04.8 and George was 51st in 30:11.2.

"What a race Alex had considering some personal adversity this week," Arkansas men's Coach Chris Bucknam said. "It was a great race for Jack Bruce. I don't know how many guys he passed on the final 800 meters, but it was a lot of guys.

"Austen Dalquist had a breakthrough race. Just an unbelievable performance for him."

The runners had to deal with winds blowing 20 miles per hour.

"Tough conditions today, but I can't tell you how proud I am of this team," Bucknam said. "They did a phenomenal job.

"Coming in ranked 15th and getting fifth, it's just the character of our team. They gave everything they had and fought for every place, every position."

Bruce, a transfer from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, was a three-time All-American for the Razorbacks.

Also scoring for the Razorbacks were sophomore Cameron Griffith (86th in 30:32.9) and freshman Matt Young (116th in 30:52.7).

Syracuse senior Justyn Knight won the men's individual title, running 29:00.1.

New Mexico sophomore Ednah Kurgat was the women's individual champion, running the 6,000-meter course in 19:19.5.

Sophomore Carina Viljoen led Arkansas, taking 48th in 20:20.20.4. Seniors Nikki Hiltz were 87th (20:37.2) and 94th (20:39.5). Also scoring for the Razorbacks were sophomore Taylor Werner in 104th (20:44.7) and junior Sydney Brown in 170th (21:15.2).

It was the seventh consecutive year Arkansas has finished in the top 20, including top 15 finishes three of the last four years.

"I know we wanted to go out and set ourselves up and get in the race with the people we wanted to challenge," Arkansas women's Coach Lance Harter said. "I think they did that, for the most part. Our front four did a great job. We improved from last year. I think we've had a fantastic season."

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