Grizzly Cross Country sees Bird and Bouldjadj win races at Chile Pepper Festival

Grizzly Cross Country sees Bird and Bouldjadj win races at Chile Pepper Festival

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Butler cross country traveled to Arkansas and came back with winners on both the men's and women's side on Friday afternoon at the AgriPark Course on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

Freshmen Khloi Bird and Adem Bouldjadj each captured first place in their respective races. Bird won the women's Prairie Fire Pepper 5k with a time of 18:43.5, placing first out of 179 total runners. Bouldjadj took first in the men's Prairie Fire 8k with a time of 24:16.2, well over a minute ahead of the next finisher. He finished first out of 272 total runners.

Bouldjadj, a Jijel, Algeria, native, has raced three times this season and has won all three. Both Bird and Bouldjadj have been named USTFCCCA NJCAA D1 Athletes of the Week this season. The win at Chile Pepper was the second of the season for Bird, a Topeka native, who previously won the Missouri Southern Stampede.

The Grizzly women's squad placed third out of 23 teams with a score of 132, finishing behind only Minot State (97) and Cowley (119). 

Sophomore Jesica Mbhamali was the next highest finisher for the women, placing fifth and running the course in 19:04.7. Sophomore Heidi Grimmett placed 34th, running 21:05.0, sophomore Josie Ware finished 48th with a time of 21:31.8 and freshman Valyrie Freeman finished 53rd with a time of 21:45.4 to finish out the top five performers.

The men did not have a team score as they had one student-athlete not finish the race. Freshman Soualah Yasser placed eighth, running it in 26:43.0. Freshman Isaiah Smith finished 65th with a time of 28:39.4 and freshman Branen Moore placed 115th, running 30:06.3.

Both the men's and women's squads have next week off from racing. They return to action on Oct. 14 at the Firestarter Classic in Iola, Kansas.