FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— The Fort Hays State women's cross country team took to the course on the road for the first time this season Saturday at the Chile Pepper Festival, placing 17th in the 51 team, 424 runner field. The Tigers placed sixth among Division II competition and second behind Missouri Southern against six MIAA teams in the race. The University of Arkansas hosted the festivities at Agri Park.

The top five Tigers combined for 450 points, just two behind 16th place. Senior Yessenia Gonzales led the Tigers with a 29th-place finish, completing the five-kilometer race in 18:05.1. Abigail Stewart finished 85th in her first collegiate race against a full field, traversing the course in 19:00.8. Tessa Durnell (19:24.5) and Grace Buessing (19:26.8) were the next two Tigers to cross the finish line, placing 126th and 129th, respectively. Averi Wilson rounded out the scoring for the Tigers in 142nd place, turning in a time of 19:33.8.

Host Arkansas took home the team trophy with 34 team points after placing three runners in the top four.

The Tigers will have a quick turnaround before their next competition as they head to Lawrence, Kan. next Saturday for the Rim Rock Collegiate Classic. FHSU's first six-kilometer race of the season is set to begin at 9 a.m.