BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Razorback Taylor Ewert earned the SEC Freshman of the Week honor in cross country as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. This is the second SEC accolade for Ewert following her second race in an Arkansas singlet.
Placing fourth in the Gans Creek Classic hosted by Missouri, Ewert posted a time of 20 minutes, 15.1 seconds in her first foray over a 6,000m distance in cross country to finish as the top freshman in the field.
Ewert’s time leads the nation among freshmen by 10 seconds over Razorback teammate Corie Smith, who clocked 20:25.1 to place sixth in Missouri. Ewert, who was a Co-Runner of the Week after winning the SEC Preview meet in September, has produced the leading time by a freshman so far this season in both the 5,000m (16:53.7) and 6,000m.
“Taylor Ewert and Corie Smith really had great races at Missouri in the Gans Creek Classic on a very challenging course,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “They both are very mature beyond their years.
“Taylor is a proven high school superstar and has done some great things. She’s taken that experience and knowledge to merge right into the collegiate rankings quite comfortably. She is a very confident racer, and an individual that has an incredibly bright future because we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg as far as her talents go.”
Comparing times over the past dozen years, Ewert ranks third among Razorback freshmen, trailing Katrina Robinson (19:55.3 in 2018) and Devin Clark (20:07.3 in 2015). Smith ranks fifth, behind Lauren Gregory (20:17.2 in 2017).
“Corie has kind of been in the shadow a little bit, but is very, very close in proximity,” noted Harter. “She has also done some amazing things to step in among the quality of a team that we have. To be a major contributor is a real tribute to her talent and we’re looking forward to even better things down the road.”
Among times by SEC freshmen over the past 12 seasons, Ewert ranks seventh with Smith 11th and both still have a couple more racing opportunities this month.
“We’re super excited about those two and they have a roommate that we’re going to redshirt in cross country with London Culbreath,” said Harter. “She also has the gifts to join in and that creates a very formidable threesome, to say the least, for the future.
“What we need to do now as a coaching staff is to find another freshman class that can come in behind them and be reinforcements for a great team in the future.”
SEC Cross Country Weekly Honors
Runner of the Week: Waleed Suliman, Mississippi
Freshman of the Week: Matt Duvall, Kentucky
Co-Runner of the Week: Sarah Chapman, Missouri
Co-Runner of the Week: Mercy Chelangat, Alabama
Freshman of the Week: Taylor Ewert, Arkansas