Wyoming Harriers Battle Against Strong Field at Chile Pepper Invite

Oct. 15, 2005

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -

***For complete results see www.chilepepperfestival.org***

The University of Wyoming cross country teams had a solid showing at the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday. The Cowgirls finished in eighth of the 38 teams competing, while the Cowboys ended the day in ninth place of 30 teams. Both teams competed in one of the strongest fields assembled in this year's NCAA regular season meets.

The women's side featured three teams currently ranked in the top-25 in Arkansas (#12), Baylor (#14), and Oklahoma State (#16). Oklahoma State came away with the team title with 64 points, just ahead of Arkansas (71), and Baylor (82). The Cowgirls scored 304 points in their eight place finish.

The UW women were led by sophomore Gretchen Fagley with her time of 21:42.0 that proved to be good enough for 35th place. Senior Tanice Barnett followed close behind, finishing just five seconds slower with a time of 21:47.9 and a 37th place finish. Junior Michelle Kvernmo finished the 6,000-meter course in 63rd position with a time of 22:21.5. Competing in her first race as a Cowgirl, sophomore Nikki Peterson placed 74th with a time of 22:36.4 . In 128th place and a time of 23:22.9 was senior Emerald Reid, just ahead of freshman Lauren Furtney's 131st place time of 23:25.5. Rounding out the Cowgirl field was junior Maggie Diller and senior Amber Barlow. Diller finished in 169th position with a time of 24:06.4, as Barlow's time of 25:29.2 stood for 228th place of the 299 competitiors.

The men's field was also nationally strong, consisting of No. 1 ranked Arkansas, Arizona (#6), and Texas-El Paso (#11). Arkansas proved their ranking by winning the meet with 57 points, followed by Arizona (93), UTEP, (94), and Alabama (98). The Pokes tallied 320 points in their ninth place finish.

The Cowboys were led again by junior Philemon Tanui. Tanui posted a time of 30:15.3 on the 10,000-meter course that was good enough for 35th place. Senior Brian Knight followed in 64th position and a time 31:21.1. Finishing in his best race of the year was junior Nick Cramer when he crossed the line in 88th place with a time of 31:53.9. Freshman Shadrack Too came in 95th position and a time of 32:01.3, while senior Ragan Driver was close behind with his 100th place time of 32:03.8. Freshmen Brett Schuler, Eric Love, and sophomore Michael Huntington would complete the Pokes' field. Shuler's time of 32:35.1 stood for 130th place, followed by Huntington in 149th place time of 32:56.2. Love ended up in 175th place of the 241 runners competing and a time of 33:37.2.

"I thought both teams had a solid showing today," said UW head cross country coach Randy Cole. "I think we got better and hope to continue the improvements into the MWC Championships."

Next, the UW cross country teams will use two weeks to prepare for the Mountain West Conference Championships in Fort Collins, Colo., on October 29.