Cross Country Achieves Impressive Results at the Chile Pepper XC Festival

On Friday, Kamron Loera and Thomas Hughes secured positions in the top 15, while four Tornados achieved personal bests.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark – At the 46th Annual Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival, two Tornados achieved impressive top-15 finishes, while four Concordia Texas cross country athletes marked new personal bests.

In the men’s 8k event featuring Division II & III athletes, CTX secured a commendable fifth place overall (compared to 27th overall in 2022). Junior Kamron Loera (26:33.0) made his mark, claiming the 5th position. Thomas Hughes (27:10.1) achieved a remarkable personal record improvement of 41 seconds, finishing 15th in the race.

Rookie runner Matthew Kangas impressed by breaking into the top 50 with a time of 28:08.7, while Samuel Valdez finished at 29:05.4. Sophomore Aaron Ramos also showed significant improvement, slashing his previous PR by 27 seconds at 29:25.8.

Completing the men’s team scores were Alexandro Barrera (29:51.0) and Dion Arriaga (30:13.2), with all seven competitors crossing the finish line in the top half of the race.

In the women’s 5K, the Tornados secured a 21st place overall finish, with Belkin Vega-Molina leading the way at 23:23.7. Ashley Rivera achieved a new personal best at 23:57.5, and Mackenzie Dixon set a new record at 25:10.5 (previously 26:07.5).

Making her debut in cross country was track and field star Mattison Stayrook, finishing at 30:11.4. The final scorer for CTX was Lluvia Rodriguez, who completed the race in 30:17.1.

Concordia Texas will return to the Lone Star state for the DBU Old Glory Gallop in Grand Prairie, Texas, next Saturday, October 7th.

For detailed results, please click here: [link to men’s results] and [link to women’s results].

CTX MEN FINISHERS (8K) 5) Kamron Loera 26:33.0

  1. Thomas Hughes 27:10.1
  2. Matthew Kangas 28:08.7
  3. Samuel Valdez 29:05.4
  4. Aaron Ramos 29:25.8
  5. Alexandro Barrera 29:51.0
  6. Dion Arriaga 30:13.2
  7. FINISHERS 56:15.2

CTX WOMEN FINISHERS (5K) 100) Belkin Vega-Molina 23:23.7

  1. Ashley Rivera 23:57.5
  2. Mackenzie Dixon 25:10.5
  3. Mattison Stayrook 30:11.4
  4. Lluvia Rodriguez 30:17.1
  5. FINISHERS 38:23.8

For the latest updates on the CTX cross country program, follow us on social media (@ctxathletics) and visit


Leave a Comment