Lions Return to Chile Pepper Festival in Arkansas

Junior Kevin Joerger

Oct. 12, 2012

Event Information | Event Schedule | Race Maps | Event History | LMU XC on Facebook | LMU XC on Twitter | LMU's last run at the Chile Pepper Festival

LOS ANGELES -- After a three-year hiatus, LMU Cross Country will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. for the 24th annual Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival. Originally an event that combined three northwest Arkansas cross-country races, the Chile Pepper Festival is now a premier distance running meet for teams across the country. The Lions will send both of its "A" squads to the Festival.

THIS WEEK: LMU Cross Country competes in the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. The 10k men's race begins at 6:45 a.m., Pacific Time (9:30 Eastern). The 6k women's race begins 7:30 a.m., Pacific Time (10:30 Eastern)

LION TRACKS: Last Saturday, the LMU women's cross country team picked up its second victory of the season with a win at the 20th annual UC San Diego Invitational. The Lions recorded a 3-10-11-15-32 finish for their first win since the season opening Mark Covert Classic in September. LMU's men finished second in the race, led by junior Kevin Joerger's third-place performance. Sarah Vitug, who finished third in the 6k race, led LMU's women with a time of 22:20.

FOLLOW LMU XC ON INSTAGRAM: LMU Cross Country is planning to document its trip to Fayetteville, Ark. for the Chlie Pepper Festival on its new Instagram account, @LMULionTRaXC. Follow the Lions on Instagram for photos of the trip!



AWARD WINNING PERFORMANCE: LMU senior Sheree Shea was named West Coast Conference Runner of the Month for September. Shea finished the month with a seventh-place finish at the Stanford Invitational, the best finish for a WCC runner at the meet.

The San Diego native began the month with an individual win at the Mark Covert Classic in Brea, Calif. hosted by Cal State Fullerton. With a time of 17:54.3 in the 5k race, she led her team to an overall win to start the 2012 cross country season. Shea followed up her winning performance in Brea with a second-place finish at the WCC Preview Race in Portland, Ore. The senior finished with the best time for a WCC runner at the meet, leading the LMU women's team to a second-place result. She finished the month coming in seventh at the Stanford Invitational, once again the best result for a WCC runner in the race. She guided the Lions' women's team to sixth-place in the race.

CHA, CHA, CHA, CHA, CHANGES: The West Coast Conference Cross Country Championships will not be held in Belmont, Calif. for the first time since 1984. Instead, beginning this year, the Championships will rotate amongst conference member institutions. On October 27, the nine schools of the WCC will race in Portland, Ore. for the 2012 WCC Championships.

ROCK THE VOTE: The West Coast Conference released the 2012-preseason coaches' polls for men's and women's cross-country in August. LMU's women were predicted to finish fourth in the conference, while the men's team was tied with Santa Clara University with the fifth-most votes.

In the women's poll, the University of San Francisco has been selected to win the 2012 WCC women's cross-country championship. The Dons earned seven (7) first-place votes and 63 points overall in the preseason poll. The Dons have captured the last three WCC Women's Cross Country Championships.

On the men's side, BYU has been selected to repeat as the 2012 WCC men's cross country champions. The Cougars earned seven (7) first-place votes and 63 points overall in the preseason poll. The Cougars captured their first ever WCC Championship at last year's Men's Cross Country Championship. LMU and Santa Clara University received the same number of votes, the fifth highest in the WCC standings.

LAST TIME AT THE CHILE PEPPER FESTIVAL: LMU Cross Country's last trip to Arkansas for the Chile Pepper Festival was back on Oct. 17, 2009. In cold, wet conditions, the women placed 7th overall while the men placed 6th against a large field of ranked teams. For the men, then-freshman Sterling Lockert recorded the best time for the Lions in a race for first time in his career, placing 37th overall in a time of 31:06. Then freshman Sheree Shea led the women, placing 17th overall in a time of 21:31 for the 6k distance. Both Lockert and Shea are on the travel squad for this year's Festival.

ABOUT THE CHILE PEPPER FESTIVAL: The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival was created in 1992 after the foundation of the Chile Pepper Running Club, designed out of a desire to raise money for the Fayetteville High School cross-country program. The event now hosts approximately 4,800 runners and over 5,000 spectators yearly and has raised more than $236,000 for northwest Arkansas cross-country programs.



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