by Scott Lipsky

KENNESAW, Ga. – Nabil Hamid, Jaakko Nieminen, and Piotr Witczak all finished in the top-five, and the Kennesaw State Owls men’s cross country team effectively used their home field advantage en-route to a victory at the KSU Owl Invitational at Noonday Park in Kennesaw on Friday afternoon.

Hamid, a freshman, led the Owls with a second place finish in wet conditions at one of the Owls’ several usual practice spots. The Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, native was pleased with the way he ran, and is looking forward to next week, when the Owls travel to DeLand, Fla. to compete in the Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championship.

“This was a good warm up for next week. The course was tougher today because of the rain, but we all worked together as a team. Piotr and I ran together for a long time, pushing each other to try to stay close to [winner] David Nilsson. We should be in very good shape at the Conference meet if we all run as hard as we did today.”

Nilsson, of Jacksonville State, won the 5k race handily, posting a time of 15:40 against Hamid’s 16:07. The Gamecock also won the JSU Struts Season Opener on September 5, the first meet the Owls competed in this season.

Witczak, who finished in fourth place, was excited to run in front of a home crowd, which represented Kennesaw State very well despite the inclement weather.

“I invited a lot of my friends and classmates, and all of us were really excited to run in front of our fans. It’s nice to get an opportunity to do that, especially against conference opponents and at a venue where we practice a lot.”

In total, the Owls defeated three other teams, including Atlantic Sun foes Mercer and Lipscomb. That will surely provide them some confidence going into October 31, when they will try to win their first Atlantic Sun title in program history.

Team Results

1. KSU 24 pts

2. Lipscomb 70 pts

3. SCAD 82 pts

4. Mercer 122 pts

Individual Results

1 David Nilsson-JSU 15:40.68

2 Nabil Hamid-KSU 16:07.21

3 Jaakko Nieminen-KSU 16:12.53

4 Piotr Witczak-KSU 16:12.74

5 Cesar Fernandez-SCAD 16:17.74

6 George Kiplagat-JSU 16:25.30

7 Scott Burley-KSU 16:37.92

8 Ryan Burruss-KSU 16:59.01

9 Mike Yang-Lipscomb 17:09.19

10 Mike Johnson-KSU 17:12.99

11 Patrick Coolie-SCAD 17:14.30

12 Trace Carlson-Lipscomb 17:24.67

13 Taylor Snyder-Mercer 17:25.04

14 Jonathan Williams-Lipscomb 17:25.69

15 Matt Auers- KSU 17:28.07

16 Bethuel Kiplagat-JSU 17:29.27

17 Cormac Carolan-Tolbert-Lipscomb 17:29.64

18 Andrew Jones-Lipscomb 17:39.20

19 Jeff Hoover-Lipscomb 17:39.59

20 Aaron Todd-Lipscomb 17:39.78

21 Ben Harrison-SCAD 17:40.65

22 ???Lipscomb 17:54.64

23 John Sutherland-SCAD 17:59.21

24 Paul Wright- Lipscomb 18:00.32

25 Andrew Greeson-KSU 18:01.80

26 Ben Wright-Lipscomb 18:13.87

27 Carl Dominique-SCAD 18:18.77

28 Dillan Brinlee-SCAD 18:20.65

29 Sean Herring-Mercer 18:23.93

30 Ed McDaniel-SCAD 18:24.99

31 Geremy Skeen-Mercer 18:26.28

32 Nick Huguenard-Mercer 18:29.54

33 Nick Curtis-SCAD 18:38.58

34 Tom Dorwaldt-Mercer 18:47.35

35 Chris Crook-Mercer 18:57.72

36 Joseph Housel-SCAD 19:29.70

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