Cross country team heads to Arkansas for Chile Pepper Festival


Junior Trevor Joiner keeps pace with the competition at the Lovejoy Fall Festival meet.

Joe Vastano, Staff Reporter

The cross country team, whose boys’ group stay on top of the 5A rankings according to Texas Milesplit after the Lovejoy Fall Festival, heads to Fayetteville today to compete in the annual Chilli Pepper Cross Country Festival meet.

The University of Arkansas hosted meet will feature teams from all around the country as well as individuals runners. Last year, the meet had an attendances of approximately 6,000 people that ran in one of the different races.

The cross country team will be running the Chilli Pepper as a progressional run, which means they will just get a feel for the 10k race and increase speed as the race goes on, rather than an all-out race, in order to prepare for the Southlake meet on October 8th against other schools in Lovejoy’s area.

“We are going to get a good feel for what running a 10k is like and also get a good hard run in,”junior captain Ryan Brands said. “It is a neat race because we get to watch collegiate runners race from division one schools as well.”

The boys and girls are just coming off their home meet at Myers Park, the Lovejoy Fall Festival, where the boys’ team finished in second place only behind 6A Plano West and the girls’ team finished in 14th place out of 20 teams.

“We performed great under the circumstances. A few of our top guys were a little sick but we had lots of young guys step up which is cool to see,” senior captain Nate Harter said. “I’m really excited to see how we continue to progress at our next meet in Southlake.”

The individual times for the boy’s team were senior captain Grant Tiff finishing 13th place at 16:12; freshman Brady Laboret, 14th, at 16:17; sophomore Brett Pedersen in 18th, with his time of 16:21; Brands, 26th, at 16:38; and junior captain Bradley Davis, finishing 36th with a time of 16:41.

The girl’s top times were sophomore Carson Hockersmith with a time of 20:09 at 31st; senior captain Shaelyn Ballard, at 76th with her time of 21:15; and sophomore Avery Silliman at 97th with a time of 21:41.

Myers Park features a series of hills and one very long uphill stretch. The team prepared for it by running hills every few weeks as they will have to run the same course at the district meet October 21st.

“I feel excited to have the opportunity to go up to Arkansas and have some fun running with the team,” said Davis.