Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival:

UA women sweep top-four positions

By: Paul Boyd
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2019
Arkansas' Taylor Werner comes in to the finish line Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, to win the collegiate women's race during the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Taylor Werner comes in to the finish line Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, to win the collegiate women's race during the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas women's cross country team is ranked No. 2 in the country and performed like it to win the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival title on its home course at Agri Park on Saturday.

Arkansas senior Taylor Werner and teammate Katie Izzo finished 1-2, and both eclipsed the course record set by former Razorback and Olympian Dominique Scott.

At Agri Park, Fayetteville



  1. Texas, 74; 2. Colorado School of Mines, 96; 3. Oklahoma State, 125; 4. Western Colorado, 134; 5. Arkansas, 165; 6. Oklahoma City, 209; 7. Northwest Missouri State, 228; 8. Lamar, 239; 9.Cloud County Community College, 260; 10. Rice, 318.


  1. Cameron Griffith, unattached, 23:35.9
  2. Gilbert Boit, unattached, 23:46.1
  3. Ashenafi Hatte, Oklahoma State, 23:46.1
  4. Matt Young, Arkansas, 23:51.2
  5. Taylor Stack, Western Colorado, 23:55.1
  6. Jhordan Cope, NW Missouri State, 23:57.1
  7. Sam Worley, Texas, 23:59.4
  8. Dylan Ko, Colorado School of Mines, 23:59.4
  9. Jordan Rowe, Lamar, 23:01.5
  10. Dais Malaebana, Cloud County, 24:08.9
  11. Abraham Chirchir, Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 24:04.3
  12. Charles Sweeney, Western Colorado, 24:14.0
  13. John Rice, Texas, 24:14.7
  14. March Sahw, Oklahoma City, 24:16.0
  15. Cruz Gomez, Texas, 24:16.6
  16. Haftu Knight, Texas, 24:19.2
  17. Justin Domangue, Texas-Arlington, 24:19.3
  18. Oscar Kipkoros, Oklahoma City, 24:19.4
  19. Carter Persyn, Arkansas, 24:20.4
  20. Kyle Moran, Colorado School of Mines, 24:20.7
  21. Preston Cates, Arkansas, 24:20.7
  22. Karim Achengli, NW Missouri State, 24:21.5
  23. Luke Julian, Colorado School of Mines, 24:23.3
  24. Bryce Quigley, Oklahoma State, 24:28.2
  25. Adam Dayanai, Oklahoma State, 24:28.7



  1. Arkansas, 24; 2. Texas, 90; 3. West Virginia, 100; 4. Oklahoma State, 129; 5. Tulsa, 143; 6. Western Colorado, 178; 7. Iowa Central Community College, 222; 8. South Dakota, 230; 9. Arkansas State, 323; 10. Baylor, 329


  1. Taylor Werner, Arkansas, 15:45.4
  2. Katie Izzo, Arkansas, 15:50.2
  3. Devin Clark, Arkansas, 16:13.0
  4. Carina Viljoen, Arkansas, 16:15.1
  5. Molly Born, Oklahoma State, 16:28..5
  6. Taylor Somers, Oklahoma State, 16:39.2
  7. Destiny Collins, Texas, 16:44.7
  8. Abby Ripperda, South Dakota, 16:45.5
  9. Lauren Gregory, unattached, 16:55.6
  10. Caitlin Klopper, Tulsa, 16:57.2
  11. Kennedy Thomson, unattached, 16:57.2
  12. Kathryn Gillespie, Texas, 16:58.8
  13. Beth Ramos, Texas, 16:59.8
  14. Julia Webb, unattached, 17:01.9
  15. Candace Jones Archer, West Virginia, 17:02.3
  16. Winrose Chesang, Iowa Central Com. College, 17:03.5
  17. Abby Gray, Arkansas, 17:06.2
  18. Anaelle Charles, unattached, 17:08.4
  19. Dorcas Koech, Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 17:10.7
  20. Maddy Reed, Arkansas, 17:13.1
  21. Ceili McCabe, West Virginia, 17:14.3
  22. Caroline Miller, Tulsa, 17:15.8
  23. Alexa Rodriguez, Western Colorado, 17:18.4
  24. Charlotte Wood, West Virginia, 17:19.5
  25. Alexis Thiros, Western Colorado, 17:21.5

For full race results, go to

The Arkansas women swept the top four places and finished with a team score of 24 points to easily outdistance second-place Texas with 90.

Werner clocked a time of 15 minutes, 45.4 seconds, smashing Scott's record of 16:01. Scott ran that time in the 2014 Chile Pepper.

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Saturday was Werner's second victory of the season. She ran 16:24.6 to win the John McNichols Invitational.

Werner said she didn't feel great prior to Saturday's race.

"We've been training so hard. We ran [Friday], and I was like, 'Man, I feel terrible,' " Werner said. "But you know what? This is supposed to be fun, and I want to be here. My teammates want to run good, and I want to run with them."

Werner had a different feeling when she spotted Izzo on her heels late in the race.

"Going around the final turn on the hill, I had my teammate Katie right there with me," Werner said. "I was like, 'I feel like we're gonna do something special.' I said, 'Come on, let's get this.' I just powered through. She was right there the whole time. That helps me go and helps her go.

"Look at the times we just ran. It's amazing what our team is able to do. And it's because we support each other."

Izzo ran 15:50.2, which also bettered Scott's record time. Devin Clark (16:13.0) and Carina Viljoen (16:15.1) were third and fourth, respectively.

Arkansas women's Coach Lance Harter said his team's results should turn some heads.

"I think our opposition is definitely gonna take notice," Harter said. "We've just got a great group with experience and great leadership to be able to put four side-by-side.

"It might be one of the great ones that we've ever had. If they can get themselves a trophy, they've gotta be one of the all-time greats."

Harter's team has even more reason for optimism after Lauren Gregory finished ninth while competing as an individual. She's returning from an injury, and if Saturday's performance is any indication, Gregory will add to the Razorbacks' depth, Harter said.

"This was a test run for her," he said. "She had been recovering from a broken bone in her foot for six weeks. This was the first time they allowed her out there to run, just to see where she is. That was exceptional because we'll add her into the fold."

Texas claimed the men's team title with 74 points, just ahead of second-place Colorado School of Mines with 96. The Longhorns had three runners in the top 15, led by Sam Worley's seventh-place finish (23:59.4).

Texas Coach Pete Watson was pleased with how his team performed.

"It's been a couple of years since we've been here, but to come into Fayetteville, such a big race like the Chile Pepper and get a team win is really nice this time of the year," Watson said. "I'm really pleased. We've got a really young group, and our older guys held their hands around the course."

Arkansas finished fifth as a team, led by Matt Young's fourth-place finish. Arkansas athletes Cameron Griffin and Gilbert Boit finished 1-2 in the race, but they were both competing as individuals. Griffin won in a time of 23:35.9 in the 8K race.

Sports on 10/06/2019


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