Arkansas’ reigning SEC cross country championship teams began their season at the Cowboy Preview on Thursday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where their success carried over from last season
“It’s an important race to get our feet wet and it’s a shock to the system,” Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam said. “Summer training is over, now you step on the line with other teams, and it's race time.”
Sophomore Taylor Ewert led the Arkansas women’s team, winning the individual title in 10:38.571, en route to the team’s first victory as a group. Two other Razorbacks finished in the top ten — senior Katie McCune and junior Julie Paternain, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
“It’s been almost a year since my last race, and I’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” Ewert said. “It just feels good to get my feet underneath me. I still have a ways to go, but this is definitely a positive start. I’m just hoping that everyone just keeps improving and the whole team has a great season.”
While No. 2 Oklahoma State took the team title in the men's race, the young Arkansas men’s team was able to capture second place with a team score of 51 compared to OSU’s 42. The Razorbacks were led by sophomore Elias Schreml, junior Myles Richter and freshman Ben Shearer who were all in the top 10 individually.
“I’m just looking for effort right now,” Bucknam said. “It’s not about time, it’s just about guys putting in a great effort. If they do that consistently over the course of the season we’re going to get better. So, I thought we were off to a good start today.”
The meet marked the first of many for the Arkansas teams that will look to build on this success over the course of the season. The No. 9 women’s group will compete next Sept. 17 at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri.