Campbell leads team to top-10 finish at NCAAs
Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Robert Black Photography)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 11 University of Arkansas men's cross country team ran to a 10th-placed finish Saturday afternoon at the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.
In his first NCAA appearance with the Razorbacks, Kemoy Campbell registered an All-American performance with a 17th-place individual finish. Arkansas finished the race with 327 team points.
The Razorbacks' top-five scoring lineup consisted of Campbell, Solomon Haile, Eric Fernandez, Cale Wallace and Layne Nixon. Saturday's result is the team's second top-10 national finish under head coach Chris Bucknam. With its result in the program's 42nd appearance at the NCAA Championships, Arkansas now has 33 top-10 team finishes at the national meet.
For the second consecutive race, Campbell was Arkansas' top performer. The Razorback newcomer posted a 10K time of 29:41.5 to finish in 17th place overall and secure All-America honors. Campbell was also the team's top runner at the South Central Regional meet last weekend in Fayetteville. In five races this season, he finished no worse than third among Arkansas runners and was at least 17th overall in each competition.
Haile made his return to the NCAA Championships as the Razorbacks' second runner to finish with his 47th-place effort. He finished Saturday's race with time of 30:14.5. This was Haile's first appearance at the national meet since 2010; he redshirted last season. Fernandez finished in 83rd place overall with a time of 30:36.6. He will end his cross country career with one All-America recognition, an honor he earned last season.
Arkansas' scoring lineup was rounded out by Wallace and Nixon. Wallace, the SEC Freshman of the Year, made his debut at 10,000 meters with a time of 30:57.3. He finished in 127th place overall. Nixon navigated the 10K course in a time of 31:07.8 which was good for 153rd place.
The team's sixth and seventh finishers were David Flynn in 203rd place at 31:45.2 and Cameron Efurd in 207th place at 31:50.0, respectively.
The Razorbacks finished one place ahead of their national seeding entering the race. Arkansas was also the top Southeastern Conference team, finishing ahead of conference mate Georgia (19th place). Oklahoma State won the team title in Saturday's race, while Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech won the men's individual title in a course-record time of 28:31.3.
For continued coverage of Razorback cross country and other University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team's sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.