At Arkansas' Chile Pepper Invite, in the men's race, the host Hogs, ranked 8th in the country, were just fifth with 192 points losing to three Division II schools, #1 Colorado Mines (39), #4 Augustan (131), and #8 Western Colorado (178). I imagine some old-timers were thinking, "Wow the Hogs have really fallen, they were so much better under John McDonnell."
That would be the completely wrong takeaway.
First of all, the Hogs deserve kudos for letting the DII teams race in their Invite and not scoring them in a separate division which we've seen done time and again and it drives us nuts.
Secondly, the Hogs were running their B team. Their first runner in the race, Myles Richter, ran quite well and was 2nd overall in 23:33.5. And he's hoping to be the Hogs #5. And he's run 29:04 for 10,000.
“Our depth is our strength. We’ve got four amazing guys up top and we’re looking to fill the fifth spot with 5-6-7. I’m already in that seven, I’m just looking to be that number five guy if that’s what I need to be," said Richter after the race.
The Hogs top 4 - all from Kenya and all who started their college careers at other colleges - are pretty strong indeed.
Arkansas Top 4 / PBs / Previous School
Amon Kemboi (13:33/28:55 - Campbell)
Gilbert Boit (13:37/28:09 - Tenn. Tech)
Emmanuel Cheboson (13:41/28:42 - Louisville)
Andrew Kibet (4:02 mile, 8:50 steeple - Hutchinson CC).
Yes, under coach Chris Bucknam, the Hogs have only been on the podium once at NCAAs but did John McDonnell ever have a 29:04 5th man?