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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Arkansas teams sweep SEC Cross Country Championships

2227 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Arkansas Athletics

Fayetteville, Ark. -- The Arkansas men's and women's cross country teams won the 2016 Southeastern Conference titles on their home course Friday morning at Agri Park.

This marks the 16th time the Razorbacks have swept both SEC cross country championships. For the Razorback men, it is their seventh consecutive SEC crown and 24th in the last 26 years since joining the league in 1991. The Arkansas women won their fourth straight SEC title and 17th overall.

Alex George claimed the men's individual 8K title with a time of 23:24.9, while Ole Miss' Sean Tobin was second in 23:33.9. Missouri's Karrisa Scweizer took home the women's 6K title in 20:10.6, ahead of Arkansas' Devin Clark (20:18.6).

Arkansas won the men's title with 25 points, while Ole Miss was second with 38 points. Kentucky (100) was third, followed by Georgia (149) and Alabama (152) to round out the top-five.

"It means quite a bit to us to win the SEC title," said Arkansas men's coach Chris Bucknam. "We take a lot of pride in belonging to the SEC and capturing a title for our school and for the state of Arkansas. We have a rich history, but to win it on our home course and keep a good streak going feels great. I am proud of my guys."

The Arkansas women won with 46 points, finishing ahead of Ole Miss (76), Missouri (125), Mississippi State (138) and fifth place Vanderbilt (170).

"Winning an SEC championship never gets old," said Arkansas women's coach Lance Harter. "The SEC is such a competitive conference, and people can adjust their lineups from year-to-year so quickly. If you're not taking care of bringing in talented athletes, you are going to get run over really fast. The SEC always keeps you on your toes."

NCAA Cross Country Regionals take place Friday, Nov. 11 at various sites across the country.

2016 SEC Cross Country Championships 

Men's Team Results:

  1. Arkansas (25);
  2. Ole Miss (38);
  3. Kentucky (100);
  4. Georgia (149);
  5. Alabama (152);
  6. Missouri (156);
  7. Texas A&M (191);
  8. Florida (207);
  9. Tennessee (275);
  10. Auburn (278);
  11. LSU (296);
  12. Vanderbilt (319).

Women's Team Results:

  1. Arkansas (46);
  2. Ole Miss (76);
  3. Missouri (125);
  4. Mississippi State (138);
  5. Vanderbilt (170);
  6. Alabama (170);
  7. Kentucky (180);
  8. Florida (185);
  9. Auburn (207);
  10. Georgia (225);
  11. Texas A&M (263);
  12. LSU 366);
  13. South Carolina (385);
  14. Tennessee (393).

Men's Top-10 Finishers:

  1. Alex George, Arkansas (23:24.9)
  2. Sean Tobin, Ole Miss (23:33.9)
  3. MJ Erb, Ole Miss (23:39.7)
  4. Jack Bruce, Arkansas (23:53.3)
  5. Frankline Tonui, Arkansas (23:56.6)
  6. Andrew Ronoh, Arkansas (23:57.7)
  7. Jacob Thomson, Kentucky (24:03.6)
  8. Antibahs Kosgei, Alabama (24:06.4)
  9. Austen Dalquist, Arkansas (24:07.7)
  10. Robert Domanic, Ole Miss (24:08.4)

Women's Top-10 Finishers

  1. Karissa Schweizer, Missouri (20:10.6)
  2. Devin Clark, Arkansas (20:18.6)
  3. Katy Kunc, Kentucky (20:93.3)
  4. Veronica Eder, Auburn (20:40.7)
  5. Jamie Kempfer, Missouri (20:43.0)
  6. Elisabeth Bergh, Florida (20:43.6)
  7. Mary Alex England, Ole Miss (20:51.2)
  8. Bo Ummels, Ole Miss (20:52.1)
  9. Abby Gray, Arkansas (20:52.5)
  10. Valerie Reina, Arkansas (20:53.1)

Men's First Team All-SEC

  • Alex George, Arkansas
  • Sean Tobin, Ole Miss
  • MJ Erb, Ole Miss
  • Jack Bruce, Arkansas
  • Frankline Tonui, Arkansas
  • Andrew Ronoh, Arkansas
  • Jacob Thomson, Kentucky

Men's Second Team All-SEC

  • Antibahs Kosgei, Alabama
  • Austen Dalquist, Arkansas
  • Robert Domanic, Ole Miss
  • Craig Engels, Ole Miss
  • Wes Gallagher, Ole Miss
  • Ryan Manahan, Ole Miss
  • Drew White, Missouri

Men's Freshman All-SEC

  • Carter Persyn, Arkansas
  • Jon Bishop, Texas A&M
  • Matthew Thomas, Kentucky
  • Brennan Fields, Kentucky
  • Michael Widmann, Missouri
  • Colin Schaefer, Florida
  • James Brinyark, Alabama

Women's First Team All-SEC

  • Karissa Schweizer, Missouri
  • Devin Clark, Arkansas
  • Katy Kunc, Kentucky
  • Veronica Eder, Auburn
  • Jamie Kempfer, Missouri
  • Elisabeth Bergh, Florida
  • Mary Alex England, Ole Miss

Women's Second Team All-SEC

  • Bo Ummels, Ole Miss
  • Abby Gray, Arkansas
  • Valerie Reina, Arkansas
  • Sara Tsai, Vanderbilt
  • Therese Haiss, Arkansas
  • Nikki Hiltz, Arkansas
  • Jessica Drop, Georgia

Women's Freshman All-SEC Team

  • Abby Gray, Arkansas
  • Jessica Drop, Georgia
  • Taylor Werner, Arkansas
  • McKenzie Yanek, Alabama
  • Carina Viljoen, Arkansas
  • Samantha Drop, Georgia
  • Jessica Pascoe, Florida

Postmeet Quotes

Arkansas runner Alex George
On winning the individual title on his home course... "It's incredible. I have always wanted to win the SEC Championships since my freshman year. I executed my race really well. I wanted to run for my dad and make him proud."

On breaking away... "Mentally, I tried pushing the pace after like 4K, up the hill, just to thin the pack out a little bit. Then they made a move and dropped me a little bit. I used the next 2K to catch up to them and get on their back. With about 1K to go, it was a slight uphill, and I ran to the top of the hill and put the hammer down."

On the team title with five of the top-nine finishers... "We have been working out really well, way better than last year and the year before. We have a solid group who can stick together, and any day, our fifth guy can be the first guy, like we showed last year. We can still do that again this year."

Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam
On the team title... "We know we have a good team. We knew if we could put it together that we have a little bit of a cushion. I'm pleased with the win. With the 43-second split between our first and fifth guy, that's getting better. We would like to improve on that a little bit as we move forward. We're really happy with how our guys competed, especially the second half of the race."

On Alex George... "He was pretty focused the last couple of days. He absolutely put the hammer down and looked good. It was wonderful to see him win a big-time race like that. You could see it bubbling underneath for the last six to eight months, and he took a big step today winning a quality race."

On defeating second-place finisher Ole Miss... "Ole Miss is a good team. There's no question about that. They have some great athletes on that team. We feel really good that we really got pushed and we really had to show up today if we were going to win this thing. Hats off to Ole Miss for a great competition, and I'm sure we will see them at the National Championships."

On the race plan... "Our plan was not to be overly aggressive but really run an honest race. On the second loop, from the 5K to the 7K, we wanted to really run hard, and that's where we pulled away. It was a pretty close race, within five points, through the 4K, but then we pushed through and finished. We had a great finish those last few 1,000 meters. It really showed our strength."

On packing it in around Ole Miss... "We had five guys in before their third guy was in. Whenever you can do that to the 11th-best team in the country, you know that's pretty good. I'm just happy with how we competed. People talk about the home-field advantage and all that, but it's hard to win no matter where you are. I knew there were a lot of special people and alumni out here today, and they wanted to do their best and they did that."

Missouri runner Karissa Schweizer
On winning first place... "It's unbelievable. I didn't think I would come this far in three years. Track definitely prepared me for today. I'm starting to trust myself and trust my abilities and believe what my coach says."

On the course... "We ran here for Chili Pepper, so I definitely had a look and feel for the course. Adding in the extra 1K today was definitely kind of rough, but I had to trust in my kick and wait until the end."

On Arkansas runner Devin Clark... "She's definitely a really good runner. So having her right next to me was definitely kind of scary, so I just had to trust in my ability to kick."

On breaking away from Clark..." I broke away with a little less than 1K to go. It was a huge downhill, and I used that. I got some kick there. I just knew I had to get to that downhill and break away."

Arkansas coach Lance Harter
On how the race unfolded... "As a whole, I thought we followed the race plan really well. It's just a matter of continuing to learn and tune up. I think we have a really good team and we can do some really good things. We have a great front-runner and we have two freshmen who can run in that vicinity. The pack was like interchangeable parts today. Valerie Reina, I thought, had a great day today as well."

On Devin Clark... "She's done a fantastic job leading us. Just coincidentally that when Dom (Dominique Scott) was dominating the 5K and 10K, Karissa Schweizer was sitting third place in the 5K. She's a national player. Devin has slowly been closing the gap on her. She was like 15 seconds back the first time we ran her, and then she was like 10 seconds back, and I'm not sure how far the gap was today. But she actually took the lead away from for a little bit. That was a bold move for Devin. If she runs with Karissa at the national meet, she's going to be in the top 15, and I couldn't ask for anything more than that."

On Devin Clark leading the team... "She's been that way all season. She just feels it's her responsibility to go out there and get us started. When she looks back and sees her teammates, she wants to make sure that she keeps that gap close."

On Valerie Reina... "She hasn't been in our top seven, but she always says that she runs well at the SEC's. I'll always take that bet. She rose up to the challenge today. That was very positive. It's good when your seniors are taking care of business, and then if you have a freshman who can break into those ranks, it just adds to the depth of the team. We're very pleased."

On eight straight SEC titles, indoor, outdoor and cross country... "It's something that you can never dream of because we know the conference is just so loaded. A program can change in a minute, whether it's in indoor, outdoor or cross country. I'm glad we were able to keep the tradition going today."