Hog Calls:

Bucknam takes a page out of McDonnell's book

By: Nate Allen
Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Former Arkansas coach John McDonnell (left) and current coach Chris Bucknam speak Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Former Arkansas coach John McDonnell (left) and current coach Chris Bucknam speak Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

— Chris Bucknam, the successful successor to John McDonnell, says he’s “taking a page out of Coach Mac’s book,” regarding Saturday morning’s Chile Pepper Invitational run at the UA’s Agri Park.

The men’s race Saturday morning will be run at 10,000 meters, the distance that McDonnell’s men ran at Chile Pepper. Bucknam’s men did, too, until forced to schedule the race earlier in the season to avoid conflicting with the Pre-National race and the big Wisconsin Invitational.

Chile Pepper, so established on the high school and community level to schedule any time it chooses, several years ago accommodated the Razorbacks running earlier in the year. That prompted reducing the men’s collegiate race to 8,000 meters because most teams don’t want to race a 10K that early.

“I felt it’s time going back old school to the 10K,” Bucknam said, noting an eighth straight SEC championship for Arkansas Oct. 27 in Athens, Ga., has formidable obstacles posed by Alabama and Ole Miss. “I really like Coach’s formula of running a 10K as a great test of fitness and then step down to run the shorter distance of the 8K for the conference meet.

"It’s a psychological plus.”

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