FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville was disappointed when it failed to draw national attention after winning cross country meets in Missouri and Kansas.
Perhaps the Bulldogs will receive recognition in the MileSplit50 rankings after placing second in the high school boys division of the 31st annual Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday at the Agri Park course. Southlake (Texas) Carroll-Stripes placed first with 101 points. Fayetteville was second with 161 points followed by Lucas Lovejoy with 226 points and fourth-place Bentonville with 289 points.
Chile Pepper Festival
St. Joseph Central^366
Christian Arenivar^Santa Fe South^15:39.5
Daelen Ackley^El Dorado Springs^15:44.1
Reuben Reina^Springdale Har-Ber^15:52.1
Will Muirhead^Lucas Lovejoy^15:53.6
Luke Walling^Cave City^15:55.7
Keagan Terrell^Bentonville West^15:59.2
Jackson Long^St. Michael’s Academy^16:03.1
Whitson Bedell^Lucas Lovejoy^16:05.3
Carson Sturdy^De Soto^16:06.4
Blue Springs South^360
Allison Newman^St. George’s^18:51.1
Riley Beach^Blue Valley NW^18:51.7
Andrea Acuna^Fort Worth Boswell^18:51.7
Kaylee Tobabien^Olathe North^19:04.5
Felisa Saheib^Colleyville Heritage^19:09.8
Mya Trober^Blue Springs South^19:10.1
Gretchen Pfeiffer^Colleyville Heritage^19:09.8
Katie Schwartzkoff^Mill Valley^19:14.7
Carolyn Thurlby^Blue Valley NW^19:15.6
Riley Arnold^Blue Eye^19:16.3
Lauren Rutlin^St. George’s^19:19.1
Morgan Koca^Mill Valley^19:22.0
Ann-Marie Braese^Timber Creek^19:26.8
Fayetteville was initially declared the winner of Saturday's race. But Southlake (Texas) overtook the Bulldogs after a missing chip from a Southlake runner was discovered and entered into the final standings hours after the completion of the race. Fayetteville coach Michelle Fyfe said she was still pleased with the Bulldogs' showing Saturday.
"They're hungry," Fyfe said. "They really want to go out there and send a message. They have great senior leaders, and they've decided 'Hey, let's go out there and do this as a team, guys.'"
The competition for the boys individual championship was wide open after Camren Fischer of Fayetteville won his second consecutive Chile Pepper championship as a senior last year over the 5,000-meter course. Justin Greer of Melissa, Texas, came in first Saturday with a time of 15:064. Lukas Pabst of Bentonville was third with a time of 15:34.2.
Seniors Gabe Craig and Carter Betts displayed Fayetteville's team mentality by crossing the finish line within seconds of each other. Craig was 17th overall with a time of 15:57.5 while Betts as 18th with a time of 15:59.2. Another teammate, Anton Michna, finished 32nd in a time of 16:10.0.
"For a solid two-thirds of the race we were running as a group," Craig said. "Running in a group like that really helps to remind you that you're running for the team and not just yourself."
Fayetteville placed second on its home course after winning the Southern Stampede at Missouri Southern and the Rim Rock Festival at the University of Kansas. The Bulldogs are hopeful the sweep will garner some national attention when the next rankings are released.
"We won at Missouri Southern, and Mile Split just kind of ignored us," Michna said. "We're focused on winning the state, but we really got fired up about being left off the rankings. We won at Rim Rock, and we won here, so we're thinking we might demand some attention."
On the girls side, Fayetteville finished sixth (328) followed by Bentonville (383) in ninth place and Rogers High (389) in 10th. Fayetteville's Grace Litzinger (18:58.5) was the highest local runner with a 10th-place finish.
"She has just been killing it at practice and dropping her times," Fyfe said. "She's been amazing, and she's such a good kid. It's been so fun to watch her grow."
Preps Sports on 10/06/2019
Print Headline: Fayetteville boys use teamwork for strong showing at Chile Pepper