Men's XC

Emmanuel Cheboson, Gilbert Boit and Amon Kemboi lead the way during a race at the Blazer Classic in Birmingham, Alabama, Oct. 16. The Arkansas Razorbacks men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their nine-race winning streak at the meet. // Courtesy of the UA Athletic Department

The Arkansas Razorbacks men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their nine-race winning streak after a victory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham during the Blazer Classic.

The women’s team won the meet after scoring 42 points Friday morning at Veterans Park, followed by Georgia Tech with 104 points, Florida State with 115, Ole Miss with 118 and Tennessee with 121.

The top finisher for the Razorbacks was junior Lauren Gregory who led them to a team win. Gregory finished 4th overall with a time of 20:22:50.

“We just wanted to try to work together and point out little things in the footing as we did in practice everyday,” Gregory said in a post-game interview. “And Coach (Harter) said to try some fun stuff and be courageous.”

This race was the Razorbacks last opportunity to try some new strategies, since the next races are during the Southeastern Conference Championships.

“We’ve had an opportunity to run some fellow SEC teams that we haven’t seen thus far,” said Lance Harter, the women’s cross country head coach, in a post-game interview

Harter reflected on some strategies that he has used throughout his several years as a cross country coach, most notably keeping a lot of runners close together during the race.

“That was exciting to have those types of interactions where we just don’t dominate from the front from the get go,” Harter said. “And we have people to share the responsibility of the race and the results were very very positive for us.”

The meet was also a success for the men’s team, with six runners finishing in the top ten.

Senior Amon Kemboi made his debut as a Razorback and led the team to a win. Kemboi finished first overall with a time of 23:25:46.

“I’m excited to be a Razorback, to win as a team, and be there for the team,” Kemboi said in a post-game interview

The men’s team finished first overall with 29 points, followed closely by Ole Miss with 50 points, Florida State with 97, Tennessee with 110 and Georgia Tech with 138.

It is tough to run against Ole Miss and Florida State which have two traditionally great cross country programs, but is proud of the effort the team made today, said Chris Bucknam, the men’s head coach.

“We have some work to do,” Bucknam said in a post game interview. “We probably need to freshen up a little but now as we move toward the end of the month.”

The Arkansas Razorbacks will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to compete in the SEC Championships on Oct. 30.

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