XC 9/23/21

Gilbert Boit and Amon Kemboi lead the way during a 2020 race in Birmingham, Alabama. They led the Razorbacks to a victory at the Battle in Beantown last week, while the women's team place third at the Dellinger Invitational.

Arkansas Men’s Cross Country placed first at Boston College’s Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown on Friday, a day after the women’s team earned third place in the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Eugene, Oregon.

The Razorbacks women's cross country team arrived at the Dellinger Invitational after placing first in each of its first two meets of the season, earning 15 points at the Missouri XC Opener and 38 at the Missouri Southern Stampede.

“The whole idea in coming to this meet was to get challenged up front as well as with the depth of the team,” Arkansas women's head coach Lance Harter said. “We definitely got that today. There were some people here today that were ready to race to the max.”

Senior Lauren Gregory led Arkansas and the collegiate field with a time of 20:06.9, good for second overall behind unattached Australian Izzy Thornton-Bott, who is redshirting at Oregon this season. Sophomore Isabel Van Camp and junior Meghan Underwood recorded career-best times while placing 12th and 23rd, respectively.

The No. 4 Razorbacks combined for 112 points and third place out of 17 teams in the 6,000-meter race. Every Arkansas runner placed in the top 100. Senior Krissy Gear experienced back spasms and did not finish the race after passing the 3,000-meter mark. The Dellinger Invitational was the first meet this season at which the Hogs did not place first.

“We got caught in a race that maybe we weren’t really prepared for,” Harter said. “For the most part we competed well. We have a couple of people who are newcomers that are learning how to compete at this level. We’re asking them to be major players.”

The No. 6 men’s cross country team entered the Battle of Beantown coming off a third-place finish out of four teams at the Missouri XC Opener.

The Razorbacks totaled 39 points in the team victory, including a first- and second-place finish for seniors Gilbert Boit and Amon Kemboi, who shared a time of 24:08.

“It was really hard to get out fast in the first mile,” Boit said. “We had to figure out how to get up front to control the race. That’s the deal, when you control the race you feel confident about it, especially when you have teammates there with you.”

Arkansas also boasted a 5-6-25-35-102 placement for its other five runners.

“The kids did a good job today, and just like the rest of the teams here we are in a heavy training cycle right now,” men’s head coach Chris Bucknam said. “Some of the guys felt it a little bit, but you kind of have to push through this time of the year and take the races when you can.”

Coming up next for the men’s and women’s teams is a 5k race at the Chile Pepper Festival at 5 p.m. Friday in Fayetteville. A live broadcast of the meet will be available at RunnerSpace.com.

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