UA men not chosen to win the SEC title

By: Bob Holt
Published: Friday, October 26, 2018
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.

FAYETTEVILLE -- For a change, the University of Arkansas men's cross country team isn't everyone's pick to win the SEC title.

Flotrack, a website devoted to the coverage of cross country and track and field, predicted earlier this week that Ole Miss will edge the Razorbacks 48 to 52 for first place at today's SEC Championships at Indian Pines Golf Course in Auburn, Ala.

SEC CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

WHEN Women’s 6,000-meter race, 9 a.m. today; men’s 8,000-meter race, 10 a.m.

WHERE Indian Pines Golf Course, Auburn, Ala.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS Men: Arkansas. Women: Arkansas

STREAKS Arkansas’ men’s team has won eight consecutive SEC titles and the UA women’s team has won five consecutive.

Alabama was picked first in a preseason SEC coaches' poll, just ahead of Arkansas.

The Razorbacks have won 25 of 27 SEC cross country titles since joining the conference, including the past eight.

"We're just kind of hanging around, but that's fine," Arkansas Coach Chris Bucknam said. 'There's no pressure on us.

"I feel confident in the fitness of our team and feel we can handle any kind of course or any kind of conditions. We're going to go in there and try to contend for a title."

Bucknam managed a chuckle when asked how it feels not to be favored to win.

"I don't like it, but that's the way it is," he said. "I guess you call it a market correction. I'd like to be the front-runner, but it looks to be Alabama and Ole Miss right now, so we're going to do a little chasing and see what we can do."

Four Razorbacks competing today finished in the top 25 at last year's SEC meet, with senior Cameron Griffith (seventh), sophomore Matt Young (10th) and seniors Ethan Moehn (16th) and Kyle Levermore (24th).

Arkansas junior Gilbert Boit, a transfer from Tennessee Tech, will run in his first SEC cross country meet. Senior Colin O'Mara, who was 51st at last year's SEC meet, and redshirt freshman Ryan Murphy round out the Razorbacks' lineup.

"We've got really solid kids," Bucknam said. "We've got a great culture of hard work and competing when it counts the most."

Sports on 10/26/2018

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