Fayetteville, AR – Sarah Balfour posted a top 10 finish for the Aggie women while the Texas A&M men turned in a fifth-place team effort during the 19th annual Chile Pepper Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas.
Saturday’s race at Agri Park, which will host the South Central Region meet in November, featured an outstanding run by Balfour, who covered the 6,000-meter race in 21 minutes, 13.4 seconds. It was one of her fastest times on a course of this distance.
“I was very pleased with my finish,” Balfour noted. “It feels so good to be back and healthy. It was a PR for me, so I’m very satisfied.
Just 10 places behind Balfour A&M had its second finisher in Christina Munoz, who ran 21:44.4 to place 20th.
“As team we had high hopes going into this race, and as an individual I was extremely excited about it since it was my first 6k of the season,” Balfour said.
“Being able to race here and see what has to be done to either qualify as an individual or for our team to qualify when we race again here for regionals was a good thing for us.”
With 200 points the Aggie men placed fifth amid 31 teams. David Hebert led the way once again for Texas A&M as he ran the 10,000-meter course in 30:43.9 to place 19th.
Arkansas claimed the men’s team title as they totaled 47 points. Abilene Christian, ranked No. 1 among Division II schools, was runner-up with 74 points. Virginia Tech’s tally of 162 points placed third as Rend Lake Junior College finished fourth with 164 points.
Placing behind the Aggie men were Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (219), Auburn (230), Texas Tech (245), Richmond (249), LSU (304), Rice (338), Texas-Arlington (375) and Baylor (398).
Behind Hebert’s effort, Kevin McNab covered the course in 31:15.7 to place 32nd. They were followed by Brian Lind (52nd, 31:53.8) Dusty Langwell (79th, 32:22.6) and Joe Savaugeau (86th, 32:27.7) to round out A&M’s team scoring.
Also running for the Aggies were Graham Northcutt (106th, 32:53.4) and Matt Ross (118th, 33:12.5). Competing unattached, Ben Schulz ran 32:34.8 to finish 89th. There were 259 finishers in the men’s race.
The Aggie women finished seventh in team scoring with 233 points. Following Balfour and Munoz the third runner to finish the course was Brenna Williamson in 56th place with a clocking of 22:18.8.
Rounding out the scoring portion of the squad were Kacey McNorton (71st, 22:36.0) and Alie Cornell (92nd, 22:58.4). Other finishers included Kirsten Brown (100th, 23:05.3), Elizabeth Slaughter (142nd, 23:41.8), and Leigh Berger (206th, 24:55.5). There were over 320 runners who completed the race.
Texas Tech runners claimed the first two places as Sally Kipyego, the defending NCAA Champion, and Irene Kimaiyo recorded times of 19:49.2 and 20:47.6, respectively.
As a team the Red Raiders won the team title with 83 points to finish four points ahead of the host Razorbacks. Virginia Tech scored 130 points for third place while UC Irvine placed fourth (195), Oklahoma State finished fifth (200) and Texas took sixth (224).