FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Coming off of a summer during which he was crowned European junior champion at 5,000 meters, sophomore Alex George finished second at the Chile Pepper Festival pacing teammates, Frankline Tonui (third) and Christian Heymsfield (fourth) through the 8K course.
Racing in his first competition since July, George demolished his 8K PR from last year by over 45 seconds with his final time of 23:35.68. The Arkansas sophomore finished just a few steps behind lead runner from Tulsa, Marc Scott.
Tonui and Heymsfield carried their momentum from their top-two performance at Iona running well together to come through as the second and third finishers for the Razorbacks. The duo joined George in clocking sub-24 times as Tonui finished in 23:38.24 while Heymsfield finished in 23:38.87.
The top five was rounded out by 2015 indoor All-American (DMR) Austen Dalquist who finished seventh in 24:00.74 with transfer Jack Bruce right behind to capture eighth place in 24:04.24.
Gabe Gonzalez and Cale Wallace opened their senior seasons at the Chile Pepper as the ninth and 12th finishers respectively in the division I competition. The first performance for both in several months, Gonzalez (24:07.25) and Wallace (24:14.40) put forth a strong effort clocking personal bests at Agri Park.
No. 15 Arkansas finished first out of 15 teams scoring 24 points to secure the first team title of the season.
From Chris Bucknam
I was very pleased with our team performance today. For many of our athletes this was not only their first race of the cross country season, but for some their first race since indoor track. They were able to ‘shake the rust off’ and compete for the first time in quite a while in a competitive environment. What a fantastic atmosphere the Chile Pepper Festival Committee provided this year. The weather was perfect, the race course was fast [due to our dry conditions the last few weeks in NWA] and the home crowd was huge. Our depth really showed today. We had a 29 second spread between our first and fifth scoring runners and a mere 39 seconds, between one and seven. It was a nice win for our team. Our competition stiffens in two weeks when we travel to the pre-national meet in Louisville, Ky. We are looking forward to that challenge.
Chile Pepper Festival 8K Results – division I
1. Alex George (2) – 23:35.68
2. Frankline Tonui (3) – 23:38.24
3. Christian Heymsfield (4) – 23:38.87
4. Austen Dalquist (7) – 24:00.74
5. Jack Bruce (8) – 24:04.24
6. Gabe Gonzalez (9) – 24:07.25
7. Cale Wallace (12) – 24:14.40
2015 Arkansas Cross Country Schedule
Tuesday, Sept. 1, Cowboy Preview | Stillwater, Okla. | 4th of 4
Saturday, Sept. 19, Iona Meet of Champions | New York, N.Y. | 2nd of 10
Saturday, Oct. 3, Chile Pepper Festival | Fayetteville, Ark. | 1st of 15
Friday, Oct. 16, Pre-Nationals | Louisville Ky.
Friday, Oct. 30, SEC Championships | College Station, Texas
Friday, Nov. 13, NCAA South Central Regional | College Station, Texas
Saturday, Nov. 21, NCAA Championships | Louisville, Ky.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.