Chile Pepper Festival an eye-opener as 4,000 raced Saturday
FAYETTEVILLE -- Thundering herds of runners dashed away from the start line of the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival, held Saturday, Oct. 18.
More than 4,000 runners showed up for the 19th annual event, including 85 college teams, more than 150 high school teams, and 600 amateur runners, plus an estimated 4,000 spectators.
In that mass of humanity the Green Forest and Eureka Springs cross country teams took the field, with coaches reporting the following information.
Coach Ben Lairamore took junior and senior high boys to race in the Open division.
"David Reed ran a real good race. I think he ran a 17:53. There were 550 that took off all at one time.
"In junior high, Jake McClung, a seventh-grader, outran several hundred high school guys. He had a really good race.
"I was really proud of the effort of all the kids," Lairamore said.
Coach James McVey took several junior high girls, who ran their first 5K instead of a 2-miler.
"They all did real well," McVey said. "Sarah Winters, Eden Randolph and Glory Leggett had good races. There were 700 in there race because they ran the junior and senior girls together."
Coach Doug Owensby took just three boys to race in the Invitational division, but did have a full girls team.
"Our top three girls ran really well," Owensby said. "They've run good all year. Maranda Dickinson, Whitney McCoy and Neisha Ball ran 22:50, 22:58, and 23:04. Beth Campbell ran 25:00 and Yennifer Lopez 25:38.
"With so many runners in the race, I told them we were just running against the clock."
For the boys, Martin Maravillaz ran 18:15, Ocsael Ramirez 19:34, and Nathan Shaw 22:47.
Coaches are preparing teams for the Cross Country State Meet on Saturday, Nov. 8, to be held at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.
Carroll County teams will run at Rogers in the Mountie Invitational on Tuesday, Oct. 28, as a last warmup to the state event.
Race Times- On Nov. 8, the Berryville boys will race at 9 a.m., and the girls at 9:30. The Eureka Springs boys will race at 2 p.m. and the girls at 2:30. The Green Forest boys will race at 3:15 p.m., and the girls at 3:45.