From one shootout to the next, Fort Lewis College is running with some pretty hefty competition the last two weekends.
FLC was one of 106 cross country programs competing at the University of Arkansas Chili Pepper Festival on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.
b There were 50 mens teams.
b There were 56 womens teams.
b There were 458 mens runners.
b There were 468 womens runners.
Thats the biggest race weve ever ran in, 11-year FLC cross country coach Ken Flint said.
Youd better run or get out of the way, he joked.
The FLC mens team decided to run: three program records and seven personal records.
Kiprono Mutai finished 57th for FLC in 31 minutes, 1 second, which broke three-time All-American Brian Baileys 10K program mark set in 1993 by 51 seconds.
He has stepped it up, Flint said. Hes been running with the fast pack, those Adams State guys.
FLC senior Jeff Hofferber ran a 32:37, a personal record and seventh best in FLC history.
Michael Birgen PRed in 33:32; Justin Miller PRed in 33:57; Derek Laue, the Bayfield High School alumnus, PRed in 34:22; Patrick Tso PRed in 34:40; Dominick Bitsui PRed in 34:50.
The Skyhawks average time of 33:06 was 8 seconds faster than the previous team mark set in 2003 and was good for 32nd place at the Chili Pepper.
Oklahoma State, the defending Division I national champion, won the meet, and Adams State finished fourth, only beaten by three D-I schools ranked in the top 10.
Oklahoma State also won the womens race, and Adams State again was the top D-II program in fourth place.
FLC finished 42nd in the 5K. Ashley Kelly ran an 18:54 to lead the Skyhawks.
Also for FLC: Maddie Kruger ran a 19:23; Helen Smith a 19:50; Liz Schwab a 20:50; Megan Derschang a 20:54; Morgan Love a 21:45; Gentry Peppin a 24:21.
Last weekend in Boulder at the multi-classification Rocky Mountain Shootout, the FLC men led by Mutais 37th-place result in 26:26 finished eighth and women (Kelly, 55th, 23:41) 10th against the likes of Division I powerhouse Colorado and Division II stalwarts Adams State and Western State.
CU swept its home meet Oct. 2: The Buffaloes herded a pair of individual championships to go with their team titles, including a fourth-place overall finish from Durango High School alumna Laura Thweatt.
The CU men won the 8K race with 18 points. Joe Bosshard led a 1-2-3-5-7 finish in 24:44.
The CU women won the 5.8K race with 16 points. Laura Tremblay led a 1-2-3-4-6 finish in 20:39.
Thweatt, the former DHS standout, was fourth in 20:44.
Adams State and Western State finished 1-2 at the Shootout.
This was a great experience for our kids to see, Flint said of the 22nd annual Chili Pepper. This is what high-level racing is all about.