Oct. 14, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- For the fifth-consecutive year, the Missouri State cross country squad is headed to Fayetteville, Ark. for the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. It also marks the fifth year in-a-row that the competition has served as the final meet leading up to the State Farm-Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships.
The Chile Pepper Festival is one of the premier running events with over 80 college teams coming in from across the country. The 6K race will be held at University of Arkansas' Agri Park, one of the only permanent on-campus cross country venues in the nation.
At the 2010 Chile Pepper Festival, Missouri State placed 12th out of 65 teams, led by walk-on freshman Leah Nichols who crossed the finish line at 17:20.71. Her time was the second-fastest 5K in school history behind Pasca Cheruiyot's 16:57.81 in 2008.
The 2011 cross country Bears are fresh off a first-place finish in the blue race (5K) at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic on Oct. 1. Missouri State ran away from the competition winning its division with 38 points. South Alabama and Murray State rounded out the top-three teams with 125 and 165 points, respectively.
The duo of Terry Phillips and Emily Beaver led the charge finishing first and second overall. The Bears also had two other runners finish in the top-10 including freshman Emma Burditt and sophomore Erin Edwards.
Following this weekend's event, the Bears will have two weeks to prepare before heading to Terre Haute, Ind. for the MVC Championships on Sunday, October 30.