By John Manley
Arkansas won the men’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the seventh consecutive year last Saturday at the University of Buffalo. The championship trophy was the 30th that coach John McDonnell, formerly of Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, has brought back to the Fayetteville campus, encompassing both outdoor and indoor seasons, and cross country. The title was no sure thing for Arkansas entering the final day of competition.
The Razorbacks trailed Stanford by 13 1/2 points, but victories by Seneca Lassiter in the 1,500 meters, Mike Power in the 5,000 and Robert Howard in the triple jump contributed to put Arkansas, with 58-1/2 points, ahead of Stanford, with 51.
With the crown resting firmly on his head, McDonnell now has to confront the rumors surrounding his immediate future. Reports have surfaced that Nike, headquartered in Oregon, is putting its financial might behind an offer to lure McDonnell to the University of Oregon to return that program to its glory days when luminaries such as the late Steve Prefontaine wore their colors.
A race of interest in Buffalo was the women’s 5,000 meters. The field included Providence’s Marie McMahon of Ennistymon, Co. Clare, and Boston University’s Rosemary Ryan, who’s from Dublin. Ryan, the less heralded of the two, ran the stronger race, finishing third behind Arizona’s Amy Skieresz. McMahon was 10th. Skieresz won the race handily with a time of 15 minutes, 37.77 seconds. Ryan was clocked in 16:07.84, while McMahon came in at 16:18.12. The race marked the end of the collegiate careers of both runners.
Follow us on social media
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Irish Echo