Myles Richter runner-up finish paces Arkansas in Chile Pepper Festival

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Covering the Agri Park course in a career best of 23 minutes, 33.5 seconds earned Razorback Myles Richter runner-up honors in the McDonnell Memorial 8k race held at the 33rd annual Chile Pepper Festival on Friday.

Myles set a 30-second PR in leading Arkansas to a fourth-place tie with Alabama-Huntsville as both schools scored 192 points. Oklahoma City’s Zouhair Talbi won the individual title in 23:28.5 while Dillon Powell of Colorado School of Mines finished third in 23:39.7.

“I happy to pull off a PR this early in the season,” noted Myles. “At the end of the day is about putting together a solid team. We’re working on putting together a national championship team, and I’m just looking to do my part.

“Our depth is our strength. We’ve got four amazing guys up top and we’re looking to fill the fifth spot with 5-6-7. I’m already in that seven, I’m just looking to be that number five guy if that’s what I need to be. If that’s not where I am, then all the better because that means we’re getting stronger.”

Colorado School of Mines, the No. 1 Division II team, claimed the team title with 39 points off a 3-4-7-12-13 finish. Augustana (131), and Western Colorado (178) placed second and third. The Razorback scoring finish went 2-19-28-66-77.

Teams finishing among the top 10 out of the 36 teams who scored included LSU (235), Oklahoma City (297), Central Arkansas (305), Nebraska (346), and Texas State (350).

“Myles did a really fantastic job today,” stated Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “He made a good case to be among our top five today. It was great to see him race like that after a tough workout we had out here on Tuesday. He’s a great competitor.”

The progression for Richter through the 8,000m race started with him being in 10th place at a mile split of 4:37.3, then moving up to fifth place at the 3.5k split of 15:52.4. Then he secured second place over the remainder of the race.

The Razorback scoring crew behind Richter included Carter Persyn, placing 21st in 24:32.7; Josh Shearer, 33rd in 24:49.4; Jayce Turner, 81st in 25:33.3, and Tommy Romanow, 94rh in 25:45.3. Luke George was the sixth finisher for Arkansas, clocking 26:29.1.

“We got some things accomplished last week and this week,” noted Bucknam. “Now we have a couple of weeks before we go to Pre-Nationals, where we jump into the mini national championships because everyone will be there.”

Elias Schreml led the group of Razorback freshman who competed unattached in the race. Schreml, a German native making his collegiate debut, posted a time of 24:22.7 to place 15th in the field of 327 finishers. Ben Shearer followed in 24:35.2 to finish 23rd. Arkansas freshmen racing also included Sam Hall (67th, 25:24.8) and Jack Williams (69th, 25:25.5).