Sports writer Callie Hummel discusses the Cowboy Jamboree and Chili Pepper Festival and what to look forward to from the team as the season continues
After winning 11 consecutive league championships, the men’s cross country team is going into their season hoping to make it 12 straight years.
At their first race of the season, the men and women both competed at the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Sept. 1. With 16 women’s teams competing and 18 men’s, it was a good competition to get warmed up for the larger festival in Arkansas. The women ended up finishing fourth against 16 teams with 127 points right below Utah Valley, while the men placed fifth against 18 teams right below Texas with 125 points. Graduate student Scott Beattie came in 11th place overall and first place for the men’s team, and junior Cormac Dalton came in 15th overall and second for Tulsa. On the women’s side, senior Caroline Miller took 14th place overall and 1st for Tulsa, while junior Katherina Pesendorfer took 20th overall and second for Tulsa.
The most recent race for the cross country team was at the Chili Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas,—one of the larger races in the country, combining the three largest races in Arkansas into one. This is the first time in five years that the men’s team has competed in the festival, but the women raced it in 2019, bringing home fifth place.
Out of the 37 women’s teams that competed, Tulsa’s women increased their ranking from their previous race at the festival, taking second place overall with 132 points, racing eight girls. Arkansas took first place with 45 points, and Augustana took third with 185 points. The total race time for all Tulsa runners was 1:27:43.30, less than two seconds behind Arkansas’s total time.
The top three runners for the women were Caroline Miller, Katharina Psendorfer and Chloe Hershenow. Miller led the team coming in at 10th overall out of 322 runners with a 17:16.1 time for the 5k race, Psendorfer placed 12th with 17:20:00, and Hershenow at 30th with 17:36.9. Senior Krissy Gear from Arkansas took first place in the race with a 16:24.3 time.
The men’s team only raced four runners, Max Nores led the team in 62nd place overall with a 25:21.7 for their 8k race, just two seconds behind the Western Colorado runner who took 61st. Pete Johnson came in 133rd with 26:10.2, and Ben Black in 200th with 26:56.1.
Both teams will compete again on Oct. 15 at the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, held by the University of Wisconsin. The men will be running 8k while the women run 6k, and the teams will be running seven athletes in the top category. The last time they competed in this invitational in 2019 the men’s team placed third, and the women took 18th out of 36 teams. Miller also came in third for Tulsa’s women’s team at the 2019 competition with a time of 21:17.6, showing how much she has improved in just two years.