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Lewis key for men’s harriers

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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Hawkeye senior Kevin Lewis has been off to a powerful start in his last season as a cross-country runner. So far, the team has competed in three meets, and in those meets, the senior has led his team to a first- and a second-place finish.

The senior believes he’s been doing well so far this season but still sees room for improvement.

“I’m where I want to be and on the verge of really great things,” he said. “If I just get a little bit faster, then very few people will be able to beat me.”

Much of the senior’s success hasn’t come easy. Lewis has been preparing for the season since mid-June. His main goal this past summer was to build his mileage up for the season, and he believes he has reached that goal.

Despite his early success, the senior believes there is still more for him to improve on. With much more competitive meets and the Big Ten championships ahead, Lewis is working hard to finish strong in each race.

“The finish is what I need to work on, because nobody is going to be able to run away from me with a mile to go,” the Ottumwa native said. “I need to keep working to get stronger so that I’m the fastest one to run the last mile.”

Last season, the senior was All-Region, and he plans to surpass that level of accomplishment with better titles in his last season.

“I want to be All-American for cross-country, that’s a big one,” he said. “I also want to win the Big Ten championship.”

Aside from the individual success, the senior believes he has been a great leader for his younger teammates. Lewis tries to help the runners who tend to fall just shy of him in races.

“After me, we have a tight group of our next four scorers, and some of those guys are really young,” Lewis said. “I try to make them aware that they are very key people on the team.”

Senior Ben Witt, who has been alongside Lewis since their freshman year, says Lewis pushes him to do better in workouts and during the races.

“He certainly makes me work harder both in workouts and races, but he has a way of bringing me along when it gets tough,” Witt said. “I’m a better and more confident runner because of him.”

Iowa head coach Layne Anderson believes Lewis’ success is a clear indicator of his great training.

“He’s had two good races, and they match up well with his training,” Anderson said. “If he’s feeling good and performs on race day like he’s shown in training, then he’s capable of running with top-level guys.”

Anderson also believes the senior is having a great season as well. Anderson said if Lewis stays healthy he will continue to succeed.

“He’s doing an excellent job,” he said. “He just has to stay healthy and make sure that he’s got plenty of racing left in his legs at the end when he needs it the most.”

Follow @marioxwilliams on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s cross-country team.


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