Arkansas women win 7th consecutive SEC cross country title

By: Matt Jones
Published: Friday, November 1, 2019
Arkansas' Katie Izzo comes in to the finish Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, during the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Katie Izzo comes in to the finish Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, during the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas women’s cross country team won its seventh consecutive SEC championship Friday with a dominant performance at the conference meet.

Katie Izzo, Taylor Werner, Carina Viljoen and Devin Clark finished first, second, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 6,000-meter race during frigid conditions Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. The temperature was in the 30s for the race.

Arkansas finished with 21 team points, well ahead of second-place Ole Miss with 93. The 72-point margin of victory was the Razorbacks’ third largest at an SEC meet, trailing a 91-point margin in 2013 and a 76-point margin in 1999.

Izzo, a senior transfer from Cal Poly, finished with a time of 19:38.3, 4 ½ seconds ahead of Werner in 19:42.8. Izzo is the 11th individual from Arkansas to win the conference meet, but first since Dominique Scott won her third consecutive title in 2015.

Counting three repeat winners, the Razorbacks have had the individual champion in 16 of 29 races since joining the SEC.

Auburn’s Joyce Kimell was third in 19:51.3, followed by Viljoen in 19:55.5 and Clark in 20:07.7. Lauren Gregory came in ninth for Arkansas in 20:34.8.

Georgia, which finished eighth overall, was the only other team with multiple runners that finished in the top 10.

Counting indoor and outdoor track and field, Arkansas has won four consecutive SEC championship meets and 19 of the past 21 dating to the 2013 indoor season.

Lance Harter, the 30th-year Razorbacks head coach, won his 20th SEC title in cross country and 37th SEC title overall.

The Razorbacks are ranked No. 1 nationally and will run again at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Nov. 15 in Fayetteville.

Men Finish Third

Arkansas scored 121 points in the men’s 8,000-meter race and finished third behind champion Ole Miss and runner-up Alabama on Friday.

The Rebels won their second consecutive SEC meet with 35 points. The Crimson Tide, led by individual champion Vincent Kiprop, scored 90.

Arkansas’ men are running this cross country season without their top runner, Gilbert Boit, who is redshirting. Boit was the 2018 SEC champion.

This is only the fourth time since in the past 46 seasons that Arkansas did not win its cross country conference meet.

The Razorbacks won 34 consecutive meets - 17 in the Southwest Conference and 17 in the SEC - from 1974-2007 and eight straight SEC meets from 2010-17.

Arkansas Individual Cross Country Champions

Name, Year(s) Won

Deena Drossin, 1991-92

Megan Flowers, 1994

Amy Yoder, 1997-99

Lilli Kleinmann, 2000

Andreina Byrd, 2001

Christin Wurth, 2002

Brooke Upshaw, 2006

Catherine White, 2008

Kristen Gillespie, 2011

Dominique Scott, 2013-15

Katie Izzo, 2019

Note: Melody Sye was the individual champion at the 1987 Southwest Conference meet.

Arkansas Team Cross Country Champions

Year - Arkansas Points (Runner-Up Points)

1991 - 30 (Georgia 80)

1992 - 52 (Alabama 80)

1993 - 37 (Alabama 83)

1994 - 31 (Alabama 80)

1995 - 40 (Auburn 46)

1998 - 25 (Florida 48)

1999 - 15 (Florida 96)

2000 - 43 (Georgia 74)

2001 - 35 (Tennessee 71)

2002 - 39 (Kentucky 78)

2006 - 17 (Georgia 64)

2007 - 39 (Tennessee 84)

2008 - 46 (Florida 53)

2013 - 32 (Texas A&M 123)

2014 - 32 (Vanderbilt 85)

2015 - 38 (Mississippi State 95)

2016 - 46 (Ole Miss 76)

2017 - 35 (Georgia 88)

2018 - 24 (Florida 69)

2019 - 21 (Ole Miss 93)

Note: Arkansas won the 1988 Southwest Conference team championship.

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