TERRE HAUTE, Ind. Second-ranked Arkansas came into the NCAA Cross Country Championships hoping to pull an upset over top-ranked Wisconsin, but had to settle for runner-up honors on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.  The Razorbacks tallied 105 points with five scorers in the top 51, while the Badgers won with 37 points and five runners in the top 17. 

     Notre Dame was third with 178 points and Iona College was fourth with 205.  Defending national champion, Colorado, scored 222 points for fifth place.

     “I have to hand it to Wisconsin, they were better than us today,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said.  “We didn’t run badly, we just couldn’t match it.  Wisconsin had too many people up front.  I’m not disappointed.  Getting second to Wisconsin is ok.”

      The Hogs’ second-place finish was their best since they claimed the team title in 2000 and UA has continued to climb the podium in recent years.  Last year they were third, in 2003 they were fifth and in 2002 they were sixth.  The finish also marked the fifth time Arkansas has earned second place.

      Wisconsin’s Simon Bairu successfully defended the individual title with a time of 29:15, becoming the first athlete to win two years in a row since Arkansas’ Godfrey Siamusiye in 1995-96.  His teammate, Chris Solinsky followed closely behind in third (29:28), helping UW deliver a powerful one-two punch.

      For the second-straight year senior Josphat Boit was the Southeastern Conference’s and UA’s top finisher.  He clocked a time of 29:49 for seventh place after gaining third in 2004.  It gave the Eldoret, Kenya native his fourth-career All-America honor.

      Junior Peter Kosgei was the next Razorback to cross the line when he came in 12th place with a time of 29:53.  He also picked up an All-America honor with his performance, giving him a total of five.

      Kenny Cormier stepped up as a true freshman and was UA’s third man in 28th.  He turned in a time of 30:10 for his first All-America honor as a Razorback.  It was the fourth time this season Cormier served as Arkansas’ third score.

      “Peter ran very well considering he was hurt earlier in the season,” McDonnell said.  “I’m a little disappointed in Josphat, because I know he can run better than that.  Kenny ran great for a freshman.  He is really talented.” 

      Senior Marc Rodrigues posted a 40th-place finish with a time of 30:21.  Last year Rodrigues gained an All-America accolade as UA’s third man in 25th.  Sophomore Shawn Forrest rounded out the Razorback scorers in 51st place (30:30).  The Melbourne, Australia native improved on his performance from last year when he finished 92nd.

      Arkansas’ two additional runners included juniors Seth Summerside and Adam Perkins.  Summerside was 137th (31:20) and Perkins was not far behind in 144th (31:23).

     “We had guys that could be in the top 25, but we couldn’t get the job done.  Our guys tried hard, but having so many Wisconsin up front it was hard to concentrate.  They would have been hard to beat in any conditions.” 

 

Complete results can be found on

http://www.ncaasports.com/crosscountry/recaps/divi/2005