FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. _ Taking top honors in all four divisions, the Carroll Dragons left nothing but smoke behind, as they scorched the course at the Chile Pepper Invitational held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. In its 23rd year, the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival is now one of the premier running events in America. Each year over 80 college teams and 120 high school teams run at Arkansas’ grassy, rolling off-road course.
With 49 schools in the competition, the Lady Dragons raced to first with 22 points to runner-up Colonial Forge, Virginia’s 107. Seven runners ran under 19 minutes for the 5K and scored 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11. On fire, with six runners under 15:30, the boys scored 22 points to roundly beat Bentonville’s (Bentonville, Arkansas) 155 points for second. The boys placed even higher with runners scoring 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 13.
Pictured: Allison Naval (9th), Courtney Kriegshauser (6th) and Sara Roe (8th) run toward the finish at the Chile Pepper 5K.
According to the National High School Coaches Association website XCNation.com, “history was made as the Dragons ran the third fastest team average 5k in U.S. history. The 15:14.68 team average falls only behind 1980 Bloomington North IN 15:12.68 @ Indiana State Championships and 2010 Arcadia CA 15:14.20 @ California State Championships.”
“This is a premier race with strong competitors from across the region,” Carroll coach Justin Leonard said. “It gave us the opportunity to test our training against many non-Texas schools. But right now, we are focused on securing the opportunity to compete at the State Meet in Round Rock on November 12.”
Competing against 49 schools, the top seven Lady Dragons turned in personal bests on the day. Lady Dragon Shelby Chapin, knocked on the “breaking 18:00” door with 18:04 and a 4thplace finish. Next, Courtney Kreigshauser (6th) 18:13, Sarah Roe (8th) 18:21.0, Allison Naval (9th) 18:21.3, Felice Johnson (10th) 18:25, Julia Sunderland (11th) 18:32, Rachel Harper (13th) 18:37 and Morgan Baulier (39th) 19:45 rounded out the team.
Out of a field of nearly 500 competitors from 59 schools, Carroll’s Joe Sansone finished second and ran 15:04 and the next three Carroll runners grabbed the following: Trevor Gilley (3rd) 15:11, Ben Goleston (4th) 15:17 and Nate Sullivan (5th) 15:19. The next green wave of Dragons included Connor Hendrickson (8th) 15:21, Alex Johansson (9th) 15:25, Kyle Scanlon (12th) 15:40 and Jordan Chavez (14th) 15:46.
The Dragons also won both high school open races, with the boys scoring 43 points, and the girls 22. Annie Fillers led the Lady Dragons with a second place finish and a time of 19:17. The next five included Sara Corey (3rd) 19:41, Taylor Ullmann (4th) 19:45, Maddie Keen (7th) 20:04, Lauren Barry (8th) 20:10 and Vicki Botorff (9th) 20:23. On the boys side, Jacob Pickle led a drove of dragons finishing first with 16:17, followed by Chase Wichman (2nd) 16:25, Alec Garner (3rd) 16:31, Regen Hatcher (6th) 16:54, Justin Nevarez (35th) 17:43, Sam Smith (57th) 18:07 and Hunter Jernigan (19:36).
Haltom Buffalo Stampede JV Results
At the Haltom Buffalo Stampede, the JV girls ran away with first place and the boys took second in a nail-biter finish — one point behind Marcus.
With 11 JV girls in the top 15, Elena Arriaza took first with 12:17. But the sea from Southlake just kept coming with Amelia Ahner (4th) 12:21, Miranda Roberts (5th) 12:23, Katie Burnham (7th) 12:27, Kelly Moran (8th) 12:29, Sam Young (9th) 12:42 and Caitlin Moran (10th) 12:47
The Boys finish continued on the girls theme, with Will Delay in first 16:46, Johnny Kemps (2nd) 16:50, Luke Lanham (4th) 16:58), Eli Canal (10th) 17:26, Brent Aydon (13th) 17:32, Paul Baker (26th) 17:55, Matt Carson (41st) 18:19.