FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Led by junior Grace Heymsfield
, the No. 9 Arkansas women's cross country team took eight of the top 10 spots and won a sweeping victory at the 25th Annual Chile Pepper Festival that was delayed by more than an hour after a torrential downpour at Agri Park in Fayetteville.
The rain started to fall early in the morning and would accumulate more than three and a half inches to set the stage for a muddy course to race on featuring 115 Division I competitors and 318 collegiate athletes.
Heymsfield led the pack of Razorbacks to the finish line when she crossed at 16:55.8 as the top collegiate finisher, followed shortly by her nine teammates. Sophomore Dominique Scott
, junior Shannon Klenke
and senior Stephanie Brown
rounded out the top four places, finishing at 17:00.8, 17:10.3 and 17:13.0, respectively. Grace Heymsfield
and Shannon Klenke
were the next to finish at 17:34 and 17:38, respectively. Freshman Sandie Raines
, junior Diane Robison
, senior Paige Johnston
and junior Jessica Kamilos
completed the top 10 for the Razorbacks.
Coming off three perfect scores, the Razorback women were one point shy of a fourth perfect finish, scoring 16. This score put them 72 points ahead of the second place finisher, Loyola Marymount, and 82 ahead of Texas Tech, who took third.
“We wanted to make sure we ran a strong, safe race,” head coach Lance Harter
said. “We executed our race plan perfectly. I thought it was an A effort.”
Two of the final three Razorbacks in the field would cross the line in the top-25 with freshman Regan Ward
coming in at 17:51.6 in 14th place and Keri Wood
who crossed at 18:28.3 to finish in 25th place.
The Razorbacks return to the course in two weeks on Saturday, Oct. 19, for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis.
For more information on Arkansas women’s cross country, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.