An Arkansas Exchange (Photo by Han Nguyen)

An Arkansas Exchange (Photo by Han Nguyen)

Our first championship of this great set of Saturday races is the highly anticipated college men’s four mile relay.  This event dates back to 1896.

We have a number of excellent teams, including Providence, Arkansas, Michigan, Iona, Virginia, and Villanova.

At the first handoff, its Michigan, Arkansas and Virginia in an unofficial 4:05.  We have a very tight group of about 7 runners at the first exchange.  After one lap of the 2nd leg, it’s a surprising Cornell team in the lead, with 9 teams together.  Providence is now creating some separation in the pack, taking Virginia and Arkansas as we approach the 2nd exchange.

After two legs, we have Providence, Arkansas and Virginia about 30 meters on the field.  Virginia has taken over the lead halfway through the 3rd leg, but we still have the three teams together.  One to go and its Arkansas and Virginia moving away, with Providence, Nova and Cornell trying to hang in there.

With an excellent last 100 meters, Arkansas has opened up a significant lead, with Virginia about 40 meters back, and then the other three another 20 meters back.

Andy McClary maintains the 50 meter lead with 2 laps to go . . . . his lead is lengthening.

McClary brings it home in a very convincing victory for the Razorbacks.  16:16.11 was the winning time.  Virginia runs 16:22 to hold off Providence, who also ran 16:22.

This is Arkansas’ first 4xMile since 2006.