Twenty-one-year-old Kemoy Campbell clocked 23 minutes 55.38 seconds to spur the men's team of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to top the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Cross Country Championships on Friday at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tennessee.
Campbell placed fourth in the 7.985 km event, trailing two of his Razorback teammates, Solomon Haile and Eric Fernandez, who were second and third, respectively, with times of 23:47.27 and 23.52.16.
Winning the SEC Championships for the third consecutive year, the Razorbacks seven-man team totalled two hours 07 seconds, edging out the University of Georgia, 2:01.34; University of Missouri, Columbia, 2:01.54; Texas A&M University, College Station, 2:02.25; and the University of Florida, 2:03.06.
Texas A&M senior Henry Lelei won the almost 8K in 23:29.25.
Arkansas head coach Chris Bucknam said after the event: "We wanted to come in and make a statement. This is the first of three legs in the championship season. This is really the most important one. The SEC Championship means a lot to our school, (so) when you win an SEC title in any sport, it's special and I'm awfully proud of our guys for the effort they put in today and all the hard work they've done all year."
Campbell, who plans to major in physical therapy at Arkansas, ran an average of four minutes 49 seconds a mile, with the winner Lelei averaging 4:44 a mile.
An outstanding distance-runner at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, in the National Junior College Athletic Association, commonly referred to as JUCO, where he was two-time national cross country champion, Campbell has had an outstanding 2012 season.
The Bellefield High past student won both the 1,500 and 5,000 metres in May at the NJCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships, with personal bests in both the 800 metres (1:49.95) and one mile (4:05.09).
Jamaica's national junior record holder in both the 1,500 and 5,000 metres, the 5ft-5in Campbell has competed in his third cross country race for Arkansas this year.
He was 17th at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on October 10 in a time of 23:42.21 and won the Panorama Farms Invitational 8K in Virginia posting 24:04.70.
-- Paul Burrowes