by Scott Lipsky
Kennesaw State Athletics

Mackenzie Howe got to see the course for the upcoming Atlantic Sun Conference Championships for a second time on Friday night, and made the most of it, winning the Hatter Invitational with a time of 17:42 in the 5k race.

The race, hosted by Stetson, was on the same layout that the Owls will face at Sperling Sports Complex in DeLand, Fla., on October 31, when they try to win their first A-Sun Championship since 2005. The entire team did a practice run there last week while they were in Orlando for the Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic.

“I already was familiar with the course, having run it last week, but it was a little different since it was in competition,” said Howe, who has now won six consecutive races to begin 2009. “I’m happy I got to race here before the Conference meet. It’s a little tricky, and being out in front, there were some turns that I wasn’t sure about, but now I don’t have to worry about that because I got to experience it.”

The Owls host the first annual KSU Owl Invitational at Noonday Park in Kennesaw on October 23, marking the last competition the squad will face before the A-Sun Championship. Coach Sims is ready for his team to go out there and challenge for the title.

“I’m glad we got to come down and have Mackenzie see the course one last time. All of us have now seen what we will be up against since we’ve all previewed it, and it’ll be time to see what we’re made of on the 31st. “

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