Runner Kevin Lewis wins first meet back in action


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Runner Kevin Lewis made a large impact in his first meet of the season after being held out of the first meet because of a coach’s decision.

The native of Ottumwa, Iowa, placed first in the Black and Gold Invitational on Sept. 13 with a time of 18:33, which tied for sixth all-time in the men’s 6,000 meter.

“I was just sitting around, just off the lead the whole time,” he said. “I looked at my watch and knew I was on personal record pace. It was good that it was relaxed.”

The meet featured some strong competition from Alabama and Iowa State. Both programs have had past success, but Iowa dominated in all aspects of the meet, placing five runners in the top seven, including an impressive 1-2-3 finish.

And Lewis welcomed the higher level of competition.

“It’s better than going against smaller schools,” he said. “More competitive. I guess you don’t really know where you’re at until you face good teams. Both these teams have some good runners.”

The plan for the race was to get into a pack early, and Iowa did just that. Around the 4K mark, Lewis started to separate himself from the pack of runners he was running with. By 5k, he was nearly alone at the front.

“I was itching to go,” Lewis said.

He finished 17 seconds ahead of Hawkeye second-place finisher Ben Witt.

“Kevin took off, obviously,” Witt said. “He’s been in great shape so far. As for me personally, I’d like to get up there with him.”

Running in a pack isn’t only for the meets and is something that the runners work on in practice.

“Me, Docherty, Ben, and Kevin Lewis have been training together,” senior Sam Chaney said. “We run the way we’ve been working out for the first 4 to 5k, and then whoever feels good goes. Kevin looked awesome the last couple of [miles].”

If the harriers can keep up these type of paces, even more success could come as soon as next meet. From here, the distances get longer; the Hawks next meet will feature an 8K course.

Lewis said if he keeps up the pace as he did for this meet, he will be happy with his performance.

Iowa’s next meet, the Roy Griak Invitational, will take place on Sept. 28 in Minneapolis.

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