South Central Region: Kemboi Athlete of the Year, Bucknam Coach of the Year


New Orleans Razorback Amon Kemboi and Arkansas head coach Chris Bucknam were named South Central Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year on Tuesday, the US Track, Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced.

Kimboy earned his second medal for the best athlete in the South Central region. In taking the All-America honor for his 12th place in the NCAA Tournament this past weekend, Kemboi became the first man to earn five All-America awards in the NCAA cross-country.

Kemboi finished first among the NCAA South Central entrants driving the Razorbacks to another podium, and finished second at All-America in cross-country with the Arkansas – 11th (2020) – after earning three with Campbell – 29th (2017), 7 (2018) and 8 (2019).

Kemboi was one of nine men’s field competitors competing in the fifth NCAA Cross Country Championships due to Covid, but he was the only one to receive All-America Awards in all five races. The second-best tally among the group of nine was three All-America Awards for Michigan State’s Morgan Piddlescombe.

This season Kimboy was the silver medalist during the SEC Championships and finished fifth in the South Central meet while racing in the flats.

Bucknam was also named South Central Coach of the Year for the second year in a row and for the tenth time overall. The Razorbacks defended the SEC Team title this fall, collecting 27 of themNS Cross-Country Championship in SEC.

Arkansas capped another stellar season by repeating a podium finish during the last NCAA Championship, finishing fourth to a twenty-second fourth-place finish by the Razorbacks. It was the first of a series of consecutive finishes on the podium for Arkansas since 2004 and 2005.

This was also the eleventh time the Razorbacks had posted an identical team ending in consecutive years.

first (1986, 87), first (1990, 91, 92, 93), first (1998, 99, 2000), second (1996, 97), third (1981, 82), fourth (2020, 2021), fifth ( 2016, 17) and 10NS (1978, 79).

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