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2013 SEC Cross Country Championships

Arkansas Sweeps 2013 SEC Cross Country Titles

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Arkansas men and women swept the 2013 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships, both with 1-2-3 individual finishes, on Friday at Mark Bostick Golf Course on the campus of the University of Florida.

 

Arkansas claimed its fourth consecutive SEC men’s cross country team title and its 21st in the last 23 years. The No. 12 Razorbacks totaled 31 team points, while Florida was second with 96 team points and Georgia was third with 101 points.

 

“We had a good meet and a good race,” Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam said. “This is the most important meet of the year for us. This SEC Championship is something we don’t take lightly. We want to do well at nationals, but this is the meet that we point toward and this is something really special for us to hoist another SEC trophy.

 

Arkansas senior Kemoy Campbell won the first SEC men’s individual title of his career, clocking an SEC meet record and Mark Bostick course record time of 22:58.73. Teammates Stanley Kebenei (23:40.12) and Solomon Haile (23:54.87) finished second and third, respectively. It marked Arkansas’ second individual crown in the past three years, as Eric Fernandez won in 2011.

 

“It’s a really good feeling,” Campbell said. “Last year I didn’t get it, so this year I came back stronger thinking that I’d win it. That was the whole plan, and I actually executed the plan really well.”

 

Arkansas captured its league-leading 14th SEC women’s cross country team title and first since 2008. The No. 2 Razorbacks totaled 32 team points, while Texas A&M was second with 123 team points and Kentucky was third with 134 points.

 

“It’s always nice to win,” Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter said. “The SEC is a little bit of a chameleon of a meet. You can go in as a favorite, you can go in with all of the laurels that have accumulated over the course of the season, but once the gun goes off at an SEC meet, anything can happen. It’s one of those times where you just don’t take anything for granted, but I think the kids this year really had a mission in mind from the very get-go.”

 

Arkansas sophomore Dominique Scott took home her first SEC individual title, clocking a time of 20:02.81. Teammates Shannon Klenke (20:10.62) and Grace Heymsfield (20:11.77) were second and third, respectively. Scott’s title was the second in three years for the Razorbacks, as Kristen Gillespie won in 2011.

 

“I’m super excited, but today was all about the team,” Scott said. “It helped so much just knowing that they’re [her teammates] right behind you, supporting you. It’s just very, very special. I don’t think there are many teams in the SEC that can go 1-2-3 in a huge meet like this, so it was very special to do that today.”

 

The NCAA Regional Championships take place Nov. 15 at a variety of regional sites across the country.

 

For all of the latest information on SEC cross country, please log on to www.SECDigitalNetwork.com or follow @SEC_Sean.

 

Men’s 8K: 1. Arkansas 31; 2. Florida 96; 3. Georgia 101; 4. Missouri 107; 5. Kentucky 173; 6. Auburn 175; 7. Tennessee 187; 8. Texas A&M 187; 9. Mississippi State 229; 10. Ole Miss 242; 11. Alabama 251; 12. LSU 356; 13. Vanderbilt 369.

 

Men’s Individual Top 10: 1. Kemoy Campbell, AR (22:58.73); 2. Stanley Kebenei, AR (23:40.12); 3. Solomon Haile, AR (23:54.87); 4. Lucas Baker, UG (23:56.13); 5. Jimmy Clark, UF (23:57.03); 6. Ty McCormack, AU (23:57.51); 7. Peter Okwera, UT (24:00.42); 8. Mark Parrish, UF (24:01.40); 9. Kane Grimster, AU (24:07.19); 10. Gabe Gonzales, AR (24:13.43).

 

Women’s 6K:  1. Arkansas 32; 2. Texas A&M 123; 3. Kentucky 134; 4. Florida 150; 5. Vanderbilt 161; 6. Alabama 174; 7. Missouri 178; 8. Tennessee 179; 9. Ole Miss 190; 10. Mississippi State 191; 11. Georgia 224; 12. South Carolina 294; 13. Auburn 309; 14. LSU 460.

 

Women’s Individual Top 10: 1. Dominique Scott, AR (20:02.81); 2. Shannon Klenke, AR (20:10.62); 3. Grace Heymsfield, AR (20:11.77); 4. Agata Strausa, UF (20:17.79); 5. Liz Anderson, VU (20:29.04); 6. Kaitlyn Fischer, MU (20:30.40); 7. Cally Macumber, UK (20:35.82); 8. Hillary Montgomery, TAMU (20:39.32); 9. Katelyn Greenleaf, UA (20:44.23); 10. Chelsea Blasse, UT (20:44.24).

 

Men’s All-SEC First Team

Kemoy Campbell, Arkansas

Stanley Kebenei, Arkansas

Solomon Haile, Arkansas

Lucas Baker, Georgia

Jimmy Clark, Florida

Ty McCormack, Auburn

Peter Okwera, Tennessee

 

Men’s All-SEC Second Team

Mark Parrish, Florida

Kane Grimster, Auburn

Gabe Gonzales, Arkansas

Sam Dickerson, Missouri

Matt Hillenbrand, Kentucky

Eddie Garcia, Florida

Isaac Spencer, Texas A&M

 

Men’s SEC All-Freshman Team

Timothy Carey, Missouri

Cameron Villarreal, Texas A&M

Carlos  Miranda, Florida

Drew White, Missouri

Trevor Gilley, Ole Miss

Xavier Jimenez, Texas A&M

Dan Roe, Missouri

 

Women’s All-SEC First Team

Dominique Scott, Arkansas

Shannon Klenke, Arkansas

Grace Heymsfield, Arkansas

Agata Strausa, Florida

Liz Anderson, Vanderbilt

Kaitlyn Fischer, Missouri

Cally Macumber, Kentucky

 

Women’s All-SEC Second Team

Hillary Montgomery, Texas A&M

Katelyn Greenleaf, Alabama

Chelsea Blaase, Tennessee

Haley Cutright, Ole Miss

Stephanie Brown, Arkansas

Karis Jochen, Texas A&M

Sandie Raines, Arkansas

 

Women’s SEC All-Freshman Team

Katiyln Fischer, Missouri

Karis Jochen, Texas A&M

Sandie Raines, Arkansas

Sophie Linn, Ole Miss

Cassidy Hale, Kentucky

Rachel Givens, Auburn

Mary Reiser, South Carolina

 

Post-Meet Quotes

 

Arkansas Men’s Head Coach Chris Bucknam

 

On the team’s win today:

“Thanks. Congratulations to our women too. They did the same thing, so I’m really happy for them as well. We had a good meet. We had a good race. We’ve been preparing for this SEC meet all year. You know I said it last week and I’ll say it again, this is the most important meet of the year for us. This SEC Championship, we don’t take it lightly. Yeah we want to do well at nationals, but this is the meet that we point toward and this is something really special for us to hoist another SEC trophy.”

 

On Kemoy (Campbell) not only winning an individual title but on his race:

“You know he’s on fire. He’s in a groove and he feels good. I talked to him after the race for a bit and he said he didn’t go to the well, so that’s a good sign. We have a tough road ahead of us with two 10Ks coming up here in a couple weeks in a short period of time. I’m very proud of Kemoy and his commitment to excellence. Everything that he does, he works hard in the classroom, he studies and competes academically as hard as he does athletically and that’s such a great example for the rest of our team. I’m just really proud of him. That was a big run and under some pressure he’s going to continue to get better as we go. I don’t think we’ve seen his best race yet.”

 

On the rest of the team:

“I’m really pleased with our captains. David Flynn and Solomon Haile have done a great job this year of bringing this team together for our six o’clock morning runs to our dirt road runs on Saturday mornings, to everything in between. They’ve done a great job of bringing this team together, talking to them about the importance of the Razorback tradition, and we’re working really hard with the team chemistry so we have some good performances. Obviously with Stanley (Kebenei) as well, a one, two, three finish in the SEC is not something you take lightly. That’s a pretty impressive deal, and then I was really pleased with our next three or four guys. They did a great job. Gabe Gonzales All-Conference, Cale Wallace, Patrick Rono, David Flynn, those guys are getting better each week, and that’s going to be really important to us as we go into the national championships. We have to get those guys continuing to improve each race. It was a good team effort and I’m proud of our athletes.”

 

SEC Men’s Individual Champion – Kemoy Campbell, Arkansas

 

On winning the SEC championship:

“It’s a really good feeling. Last year I didn’t get it, so this year I came back stronger thinking I’d win it. That was the whole plan, and I actually executed the plan really well, so it’s a good season for me so far.”

 

On his big lead and how he was feeling:

“I was feeling pretty good. I was kind of upset I didn’t have anyone to push me so I could run a faster time. It’s really hard running by yourself, but I got the win and that’s all I could ask for.”

 

On his confidence level heading into this race:

“At one point I wasn’t feeling really confident. I knew I’d win it, but I wanted to run a really fast time so I could match up to where I match for nationals. But I was running by myself and, what can I say, I did pretty well.”

 

On the importance of carrying the tradition of Arkansas:

“It’s really important. Going to Arkansas I knew I had some work to put in to keep the team as strong as it is. I’ve heard of Arkansas having a pretty strong program, and that was one of my dreams to go to Arkansas and that’s a dream come true, so I can just represent them the best I can.”

 

On going to Arkansas to win an SEC title:

“I was thinking on an individual achievement, but coming here, we have a good team so that kind of motivated me to work with the team. I just wanted to improve my time, but as I said I have a good team and then we encourage each other and motivate each other to do our best in practice. So I couldn’t ask for a better team.”

 

On getting ahead of the other competitors:

“The goal going in was to help serve my team for the win. I wanted to run a fast time. That was one of my goals, but I didn’t achieve what I wanted running the fast time. But team-wise I did pretty well. All I can say is I’m really happy for that win that our team got.”

 

Arkansas Women’s Head Coach Lance Harter

 

On the team win and the great finish:

“It’s always nice to win. The SEC is a little bit of a chameleon of a meet. You can go in as a favorite, you can go in with all of the laurels that have accumulated in the course of the season, but once the gun goes off at the SEC meet, anything can happen, and it’s happened repetitively. We’ve been in a situation where we go in as a favorite, we get knocked off by Vanderbilt; we go in as a favorite, Florida wins it. It’s one of those times where you just don’t take anything for granted, but I think the kids this year really had a mission in mind from the very get-go. Way back at our training camp, they sat down and said, “Hey, number one is to win the SEC,” and so we’ve been able to get that on the board now, and now it’s onto regionals and obviously I think we’re in pretty good shape for the national meet.”

 

On how the Wisconsin meet helped the team’s confidence:

“In Wisconsin, I think we felt we were pretty potent. We had great respect for Providence and Arizona and so on, and we were able to put together a great race without Diane Robison. We got Diane back in the lineup today because she was in her wedding obligation, so now we’re back at full strength.”

 

On Dominique winning the individual title and his three runners at the front:

“Well, those three have been kind of interchangeable parts. A lot of times it comes down to whoever has the best finish and I think that Dom finally trusted her kick to sustain a little bit longer than she has been – because a person like Grace has such good leg speed that she can really win anytime she wants, so I think she tried to make a convincing move. It proved positive.”

 

On how much the team talked about previous close finishes:

“Well, I think one of the things, again, goes to back to some of our peers and the people that are the experts. Cross country last year, we had our worst performance in the history of my career at Arkansas. We were 18t at the national meet, and I know a lot programs would be very happy to be in the top 20 in the nation, but that’s not the expectation or the legacy at Arkansas, and so during the indoor and outdoor season, our kids really caught fire – those middle distance and distance runners – and really made some huge gains, and so we kind of knew, maybe in Fayetteville, that we had something special going. We had a couple of newcomers coming in that were going to add to it, and so I think that chemistry all put together was going to be pretty lethal.”

 

SEC Women’s Individual Champion – Dominique Scott, Arkansas

 

On winning the SEC individual title:

“Well, I’m super excited, but today was all about the team. We’ve had a lot of unfortunate SECs, especially in cross country recently, by one or two points, and we were determined to not let that happen again today. Myself, as well as the rest of my teammates, we all just put 110 percent effort on the start line and throughout the race, and it really paid off. I’m so excited for the team.”

 

On having her teammates up at the front of the pack with her:

“Oh my word,  that helped so much, just knowing that they’re right behind you, supporting you, and that if you do have a little bit of a down time in the race that they’re going to pick you up and make sure you’re  not falling off. It’s just very, very special. I don’t think that there are many teams in the SEC that can go one, two, three in a huge meet like this so it was very special to do that today.”

 

On how the team’s performance at Wisconsin affected its confidence coming into SECs:

“That was huge. We were ranked seventh going into the meet, and we knew that that was definitely a little bit too high, or too low I guess, but we wanted to just go out there and prove how hard we’ve been training, and it was so exciting to be rewarded for all of our hard work and kind of setting up the end of the day. It definitely gave us a lot of momentum going into this race and we knew that if we could do just half as much as we did at Wisconsin that we would come out on top today.”

 

On how she felt during the race:

“I felt good. It’s always nerve racking because you never know how good the other competitors are feeling, but I felt great, and the only thing that was going through my mind was I wanted to get this win for the team – didn’t care if it was me, Grace or Shannon that got the individual win -- but we had a Florida girl on our back and we wanted to beat her, and unfortunately my teammates couldn’t come with me, but at least we were able to get rid of her, so that was good.”

 

On how much previous close SEC finishes were discussed:

“So much – especially to the freshmen – we really had to get them to understand and grasp the concept that every position matters so much at the SEC Championships because there really aren’t that many competitors in the race, so every point really matters. We definitely always remind ourselves about the upsets that we’ve had and it definitely gave us a little bit more fire to come out here and do it this time correctly.”

 

 

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