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Courtesy: Walt Beazley
Agri Park hosts the 24th Annual Chile Pepper Festival.
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Chile Pepper Festival for No. 11 Razorbacks

Zach Lawson, Athletic Media Relations
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FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 11 University of Arkansas women’s cross country team will run on its home course Saturday as part of the 24th Annual Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville. The women’s 6K race will begin at 10:30 a.m. (CT). The Razorbacks are part of a women’s field that will include more than 40 teams. More than 4,500 runners of all ages will compete during the day-long annual event. From the junior-high level up to the open event, there will be 10 races throughout the day.

“One thing that has really been a positive attribute is that we have some local Arkansan kids that are coming in and making it big,” head coach Lance Harter said. “(Chile Pepper) is a great event. It’s a great opportunity to show off our university and to show off the enthusiasm of our fans. When you have thousands of people showing up for a cross country meet, there are not many places in the world that can draw that kind of benefit.”

The Arkansas lineup for the Chile Pepper Festival is set to feature Rachel Carpino, Kaitlin Flattmann, Codi Fritchie, Grace Heymsfield, Paige Johnston, Jessica Kamilos, Shannon Klenke, Valerie Reina, Diane Robison, Andrina Schlaepfer, Semehar Tesfaye, Kelsey Wheelhouse and Keri Wood. Saturday’s race will be the fifth meet of the season for the Razorbacks.

Among other entries, Arkansas will be joined in Saturday’s field by No. 22 Oklahoma State and seven other teams ranked in the South Central region top 10. That group includes SMU, Baylor, UTSA, TCU, Rice, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Stephen F. Austin. Conference foe LSU is also scheduled to compete.

In the team’s last competition, Arkansas placed three inside the top 14 and finished tied for third place at the Greater Louisville Classic on Sept. 29. Tesfaye was the top performer in the lineup with a 10th-place individual finish and was followed by Schlaepfer in 13th and Heysmfield in 14th. The top-five lineup was rounded out by Robison in 34th place and Johnston in 64th. For her performance, Schlaepfer was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for the second time in 2012.

Arkansas is ranked 11th in the Oct. 2 release of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll. The Razorbacks are the highest-ranked SEC team. As they have been all season, the Razorbacks are the No. 1 team in the South Central region.

The Chile Pepper Festival will be the Razorbacks’ final meet before the start of the championship season which begins Oct. 26 with the SEC Championships in Nashville, Tenn. Following the conference meet, Arkansas will play host to the NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Nov. 9 at Agri Park in Fayetteville. The 2012 season comes to an end Nov. 17 with the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky.

For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field with the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.

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