Ladyjacks 10th at Chile Pepper Festival
Oct. 15, 2005
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack cross country team recorded its best-ever team finish at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival Saturday. The Ladyjacks finished 10th as a team behind junior Ashley Monteau's fifth-place individual finish.
Monteau completed the 6,000-meter course in 20:47.04. The next four SFA runners all finished within 33 seconds of each other, starting with junior LaKoa McKeever, who crossed the line in 22:40. Sophomore Katrina Nicholas checked in with a time of 22:45, sophomore Amber Bagwell finished the race in 23:06 and freshman Heather Adams came across at the 23:13 mark.
"I'm really happy with how we ran today," SFA cross country coach Lou Snelling said. "We made a good step this weekend. We just started transitioning our training toward an increased difficulty, and we started seeing the results of that this weekend. I hope to see much more of it at conference and at regionals."
The Ladyjacks had never finished higher than 11th at the Chile Pepper, which is perennially one of the biggest meets in the country. The top three finishers at this year's race -- Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Baylor -- are all nationally ranked. SFA came in ahead of Southland Conference opponents Southeastern Louisiana, Texas-Arlington and Louisiana-Monroe.
The Chile Pepper Festival marked the first race for Monteau this season that she has not won. Prior to Saturday, the junior had won individual titles at Rice and Northwestern State. But Saturday's time of 20:47.04 was the best 6,000-meter time the defending SLC champion has recorded this season. She beat her time from the Northwestern State Invitational by nearly a full minute.
"Ashley's performance was very impressive," Snelling said. "She has made herself into one of the top runners in our region. It's going to be fun to see how she does at the next couple of meets. She's very fit right now and looking good for the end of the season."
The SFA cross country teams' next competition will be the SLC Championships. The meet is set for Oct. 31 at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La.
-- SFA --