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story.lead_photo.caption SAU freshman Lexington Hilton continues to pace the Mulerider cross country team.

The Southern Arkansas Muleriders and Lady Muleriders have a little extra time to prepare for their next cross country meet. The teams will head to Fayetteville on Saturday, Oct. 5, for the annual Chili Pepper Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas.

Last week, SAU competed on the Southern Stampede in Joplin, MO. The Muleriders placed 18th out of 27 teams, while the Lady Muleriders finished in 20th place.

For the third time this season, freshmen Lexington Hilton paced the Muleriders. The Green Forest, AR, native ran a career-best time of 26:00.5, shattering his previous career-best of 26:46.7, set last week at the Bob Gravett Invitational. Hilton finished 38th overall on the day.

Nathaniel Zapata joined Hilton in setting a career-best time of 27:18.4, seven seconds faster than his previous best. Carlos Armendariz was the third Mulerider to break a career-high, shattering his mark by over 30 seconds. The freshman ran a 27:38.1 on the day. Three returners from last season in Asher Hamlin, Donald Robinson and Cadelro Frank all set career-best times.

For the women, junior Carley Hale again paced the Lady Muleriders. The Panhandle, Texas, native ran a career-best time of 19:05.1, shattering her previous career-best of 19:16.8, set at last year’s Chili Pepper Festival. Hale finished 72nd overall at the Southern Stampede.

Cecilia Quesada joined her in setting a career-best time of 19:52.9, two-tenths of a second faster than her previous best set last year at Mississippi College. Alyssa Solis also broke a career-high from last season, shattering her previous best by over 30 seconds. The sophomore ran a 20:49.7 on the day.

Three freshmen in Leah Sanders, Kendall Hays and Paige Loehding – all set career-best times in their young collegiate careers as well.

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