Uzelac sets new program record at Chile Pepper

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- For the fifth time already in his career, sophomore Josh Uzelac set a program record, this time with a 25:41 mark, helping the John Brown University men's cross country team to a 29th place finish at the 2016 edition of the Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday (Oct. 1) at Expirimental Farms.

Uzelac's last program benchmark was set at the #JennaStrong Fall Classic in Wilmington, Ohio, last season. There, he posted a time of 25:47, which he bested by seven seconds on Saturday. Uzelac now owns five of the program's top-10 all-time finishes.

Uzelac's mark was good enough for 53rd place overall, helping the Golden Eagles to a time of 2:16:53, its best eight-kilometer pace this season. The University of Arkansas captured the team title with a time of 1:59:04, powered by the Razorback's Alex George, who earned the individual medal with a 23:32 finish.

John Brown posted the seventh-best time of all NAIA institutions and turned in faster times than NCAA II programs such as Arkansas - Ft. Smith and Christian Brothers (Tenn.). JBU also beat out Sooner Athletic teams Texas Wesleyan and St. Gregory's (Okla.).

Sophomore Jacob Benjamin bested his season high by 23 seconds, crossing the finish line at 26:39 to grab 113th place. Senior Levi Nordmeyer earned 198th place with a 27:56 mark while freshman Elliott Pearson finished in 208th after a 28:07 mark. Junior Justin Riffel rounded out JBU's top five with a 223rd-place finish in a time of 28:30.

All five scoring runners for John Brown set season-bests.

The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday (Oct. 8) at the University of the Ozarks (Ark.). Start time is scheduled for 9:40 a.m.

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