FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 17-ranked Arkansas men’s cross country team returns to action on Saturday morning, as the team seeks its second straight title at the 26th Annual Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday morning. Race time is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. at Agri Park.
The Razorbacks, who will be running for the first time since the Iona Meet of Champions back on Sept. 20, will be looking to capture the Chile Pepper title in back-to-back years. Last year, Arkansas brought home the team title after having three runners place inside the top five, helping to an overall team score of 31.
This year’s version of the Chile Pepper will feature nearly 50 teams from 12 different states. 18 NCAA Division I schools, including Lamar University, who is receiving votes in the USTFCCCA Top 30, and Southeastern foe LSU, will be among those in attendance, along with a slew of NCAA Division II and NAIA schools.
2013 NCAA All-American, Stanley Kebenei, is the top returner from last year’s race, as he placed third overall with an 8K time of 24:08.00. Kebenei has only ran in a meet once this year for the Razorbacks, but it was a strong showing as he placed third at the Iona Meet of Champions, posting a time of 25:41.65.
Redshirt junior Gabe Gonzalez also collected a top 15 finish in last year’s race for Arkansas. Last season the Springdale, Ark., native posted a time of 24:47.60 to place 12th. Gonzalez has collected back-to-back top five finishes to open the season, placing second at the Hurricane Cross Country Festival and fourth at the Iona Meet of Champions.
In their last meet, the Razorbacks collected the team title at the Iona Meet of Champions in Bronx, N.Y. Freshman Alex George made the most of his first career 8K race, as posted the best time of any Arkansas runner with a 25:36.66 finish to place second overall. The performance was good enough to earn George his first SEC Runner of the Week award.
As a team, the Razorbacks collected four top 10 finishes, as the scoring rotation posted 46 points to come away with the meet’s team title.
For more information on the Arkansas men’s cross country team, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.
Arkansas Runners Expected to Compete
Fr., Austen Dalquist
So., Noah Findlay
Fr., Alex George
R-Jr., Gabe Gonzales
Sr., Stanley Kebenei
Fr., Ethan Moehn
R-Jr., Andrew Pisechko
Jr., Patrick Rono
R-So., Aidan Swain
Jr., Cale Wallace