FAYETTEVILLE — In the biggest field in event history, the Bryant Hornets placed 43rd out of 99 teams at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at Agri Park on Saturday. The Hornets placed eighth among Arkansas teams. John Carder led the way for the Hornets with a 60th-place finish out of 743 runners in a personal record time of 16:19. Carder was the 10th Arkansas finisher.
The rest of the Hornet finishers were Enrique Ramos (211th in 17:20), Chris Barrientos (214th in 17:20), Eathan Devine (353rd in 18:05), Chris Morgan (424th in 18:35), Decatur Austin (475th in 18:59), and Andy Doonan (551st in 19:48).
“Chile Pepper is a unique experience for the kids,” noted Hornets coach Steve Oury. “It’s quite a spectacle to see such huge fields filled with some of the best teams from several different states.
“I was very pleased with how we handled it,” he added. “We are continuing to get better. Four out of our top 5 ran personal records. John Carder was very solid. The biggest surprise of the day for us was Enrique Ramos, who took about 75 seconds off of his personal record. Just spectacular for him.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how he and the rest of the boys will continue to progress,” the coach concluded.
The Junior Hornets moved up in distance and ran their only 5K of the season at the Chile Pepper Festival. The team placed 12th out of 46 teams. Eighth grader Bresner Austin was the top Bryant finisher, placing 34th in a time of 18:47.
Rounding out the Junior Hornet top seven were Dylan White (64th in 19:21), Christian Brack (84th in 19:39), Chris Herrara (91st in 19:44), Ethan Saffle (102nd in 19:54), Hagan Austin (119th in 20:18), and C.J. Travis (126th in 20:26).
“We had some very nice performances from these boys,” Oury said. “We have a nice mix of seventh, eighth, and ninth graders who have the potential to be very good runners. I thought they handled the bump in distance very well and it should make next week’s two-mile race at the Bryant Invitational seem easy.”
Bryant hosts its annual home meet on Saturday at Bishop Park.