Cross Country Gears Up For Chile Pepper Running Festival

Senior Kathryn Ducommun

Oct. 12, 2012

HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the annual Chile Pepper Running Festival on Saturday morning. This meet will be the first out-of-state competition for the Cougars this season. The men are slated to run a 10K race at 9:45 a.m., followed by the women running a 6K course at 10:30 a.m.

The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival will be held on the University of Arkansas Cross Country Course. The year's field is full of nationally ranked teams. It was created to bring together three Northwest Arkansas cross-country races under a single event. The meet is now known for being one of the premier running events in America.

"The Chile Pepper Festival will be our biggest test of the season," assistant coach Steve Magness said. "It will be the first time this season the men will run a 10K and the women a 6K. We'll also be racing against some of the top teams, not only in the region, but also in the nation. It'll give us a great barometer of where we stand heading into the Conference USA Championship. Both teams have made some great gains since our last meet, so we are really looking forward to seeing them translate into the race."

Sophomore Yonas Tesfai finished strong for the Cougars at the Rouge Grass Routes Gran Prix on Sept. 28 in Austin. Tesfai took home second-place overall in the 7.5K course with a time of 25:41.06. For the Cougar women, senior Kathryn Ducommun lead the way on the 5K course. Ducommun completed the route with a time of 19:24.37, to finish 13th overall. The men's team took home second and the women finished in fourth.

This will be the second time the Cougars have competed in the annual Festival. The first time in 2010, Houston men took home 27th place, while the women finished in 30th.



The Cougars will take two weeks off from competition in preparation for the Conference USA Championship in Hattiesburg, Miss. on Oct. 29.

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