FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – On the heels of a personal-best performance last weekend at the Tyson Invitational, Caleb Cross has been named the Southeastern Conference Runner of the Week as announced by the league office Tuesday. This is the first career SEC weekly honor for the senior hurdler from Newport, Ark. Friday's win was Cross' second hurdle title of the season, having also won the event at the Razorback Team Invitational in January.
"We had some outstanding performances over the weekend," head coach Chris Bucknam said at his weekly press conference. "That race for Caleb puts him second in the nation. Our guys are competing well. I think how we're competing is as important as the times."
Cross capped his three-round day with a victory in the 60-meter hurdles at the Tyson Invitational with a personal-best time of 7.65. Friday's final produced three of the top-five times in the NCAA this season. Cross now owns the top 60-meter hurdles time in the SEC and is ranked No. 2 in the nation in the event. Cross finished just .01 seconds off the school record of 7.64 set by Michael Thomas in 2003, and replaced his previous best of 7.67 run last year at the NCAA Championships in Nampa, Idaho.
He began Friday's competition with a qualifying run of 7.89 in the preliminaries which was good for the sixth fastest of the opening round. Cross was then the third-fastest qualifier for the final with his time of 7.73 in the semifinal round. From start to finish, he knocked .24 seconds off his time over the course of three races.
Cross is the fourth Razorback to be recognized by the SEC this season. Cale Wallace has earned two Freshman of the Week honors (Jan. 15, Jan. 22) this season while Raymond Higgs (Jan. 15) and Kevin Lazas (Jan. 29) have each been selected once for their performances.
With the Tyson Invitational in the books, the Razorbacks' championship season begins Feb. 22-24 with the SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville. Arkansas will host a Last Chance meet March 1 before hosting the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The Razorbacks will be hosting the indoor national meet for the 11th time in program history, all since the 2000 season.
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