COLUMBIA, SC – No. 8 nationally ranked Arkansas claimed its 28th SEC Championship in cross country on Friday, scoring 38 points, to finish ahead of defending champion No. 22 Alabama, runner-up with 57 points.
This marked the 30th SEC Championship among the three disciplines – cross country, indoor, and outdoor track – for Razorback men’s head coach Chris Bucknam.
Silver medalist Patrick Kiprop led Arkansas in the conference meet for the second consecutive year, improving upon his fifth-place effort in 2022. He posted a time of 22:31.6 over the 8,000m course as Alabama’s Victor Kiprop won the individual title in 22:23.4. At the 7k split, P. Kiprop led the field in 19:31.2 over V. Kiprop’s 19:31.6.
No. 13 Tennessee finished third with 59 points while Texas A&M placed fourth with 140. They were followed by Auburn (148), Ole Miss (169), Florida (194), and Kentucky (197).
Ben Shearer, the top freshman last year in 21st place, finished fifth with a 22:50.2 clocking while teammate Kirani Yego placed sixth in 22:54.8. Shearer passed Yego over the final kilometer.
The next pair of finishers for Arkansas to compete the impressive team score were Elias Schreml and Reuben Reina, who placed 12th and 13th with times of 23:23.8 and 23:27.8, respectively.
The sixth Razorback was Myles Richter in 16th with a 23:30.2 while Jacob McLeod claimed the seventh position in 18th at 23:33.5. Tommy Romanow placed 22nd in 23:57.0 while Lexington Hilton was one of seven who did not finish among the field of 114 runners.
This is the third SEC cross country title for Arkansas in the past four seasons and the ninth championship since the league’s current configuration from 2012.
In all three seasons, the Razorbacks have claimed 10 of the past 11 SEC Championships contested.
Next for Arkansas is the NCAA South Central Region meet the Razorbacks will host at Agri Park on Friday, November 10. The top two teams will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship field.