FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 9 Arkansas cross country will return to the friendly confines of Fayetteville’s Agri Park this weekend to compete in the 19th annual Chile Pepper Festival. Arkansas will be competing with over 40 Division I and II schools in the 10K race, starting at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Some of the best Division I and II cross country teams in the nation will travel to Fayetteville this weekend for the 18th Chile Pepper Festival. With a mere six weeks left until the NCAA Championships, the Chile Pepper 10K will be a solid indicator of what is to come at the NCAA meet. Highlighting the race will be No. 9 Arkansas, Division II powerhouse Abilene Christian, LSU, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and Virginia Tech.
Running for the Razorbacks this weekend will be Chris Barnicle, Lane Boyer, Michael Chinchar, Kenny Cormier, Shawn Forrest, Tyler Hill, Daniel LaCava, Scott MacPherson, Matt Munoz, Duncan Phillips, Rio Reina and Orey Smith.
The Razorbacks will make their 10K debut at the Chile Pepper Festival. The Razorback Cross Country Course 10K record, 28:22.8, was set at the Chile Pepper Festival in 2006 by Abilene Christian’s Nicodemus Naimadu. Arkansas will look to better the course mark and individual bests this weekend. The Razorbacks will face an SEC opponent for the first time this season when Auburn, LSU and Vanderbilt compete in the Chile Pepper Festival. Auburn was ranked No. 9 in the SEC preseason coaches poll. LSU sat at No. 10 and Vanderbilt was 11th.
Arkansas runners hold three of the top seven spots on the SEC 8K performance list. Scott MacPherson holds the SEC’s third-best time at 23:46. Tyler Hill is No. 5 on the list with a time of 23:48. Shawn Forrest ranks seventh with a 23:54.
The Razorbacks sit at No. 9 on the USTFCCCA National poll and No. 1 on the South Central Regional poll. They are the second-ranked SEC team in the nation behind No. 8 Alabama and sit at No. 1 among SEC schools in the South Central Region.
At the Chile Pepper Festival in 2006, a second-place finish by Peter Kosgei wasn’t enough to boost the No. 2 Razorback cross country team past No. 11 UTEP as the Hogs (77 points) fell to the Miners (64 points) in the 10K race.
Kosgei crossed the finish line in second place with a 10K personal-best of 28:33.7. He clocked a 29:47 at last year’s event. Nicodemus Naimadu won the race with a time of 28:22.8.
Shawn Forrest was the second UA scorer, finishing 13thoverall and 10thamong collegians with his clocking of 28:56, also a 10K personal-best.
Results from the Chile Pepper Festival can be found at www.chilepepperfestival.org or www.hogwired.com. For a complete list of this week’s USTFCCCA polls, visit www.ustfccca.org.
Download: 10.13.07 Chile Pepper.pdf