KSU runners take both titles at 5K
by Greg Oshust
goshust@mdjonline.com
June 26, 2011 12:55 AM | 1723 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nathan Haskins made it a perfect 3-for-3 in the Summer Solstice 5K and helped lead a Kennesaw State sweep of the men’s and women’s titles.
<Br>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Nathan Haskins made it a perfect 3-for-3 in the Summer Solstice 5K and helped lead a Kennesaw State sweep of the men’s and women’s titles.
Staff photo by Todd Hull
slideshow
ACWORTH — Nathan Haskins has clearly stamped his mark on the Summer Solstice Cross Country Challenge.

The winner of the first two editions of the 5K (3.1-mile) cross country race, the Kennesaw State cross country and track runner made it a trifecta by winning Saturday at the Cobb County Corps Property.

Haskins, a rising senior at KSU, crossed the finish line with a time of 15 minutes, 56.41 seconds.

Mackenzie Howe made it a Kennesaw State sweep as the recently graduated Owls standout won the women’s title in 18:07.39.

Exactly 200 runners, ranging from ages 7 to 70, ran the 5K course that annually hosts the county high school cross country meet.

Proceeds from the race benefit RunCobb, a local organization dedicated to promoting running in the county.

It was the first race for Haskins after being sidelined for the last eight months due to a stress fracture in his hip, an injury he sustained during cross country season last October.

The KSU standout showed few effects of his inactivity, however, leading the race from start to finish. He recorded a time that was only 33 seconds slower than his winning time of a year ago.

“I’m coming off a eight-month injury layoff, and this is my first race back,” Haskins said. “I’ve had only one workout in the last eight months, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This is just the beginning for me. I’m planning to run a half marathon in the fall, so I still have a lot of work to do.”

Haskins led a sweep of the top three positions by Kennesaw State runners. Steven Murray, a recent graduate, repeated his runner-up finish of a year ago with a time of 16:11.80, while former Harrison runner Ryan Burruss, a rising KSU junior, was third in 16:13.17.

Recent McEachern graduate Nick Washizaki (16:25.21) was fourth, with Berry College runner Michael Sexton (16:43.86).

In the same vein as her Kennesaw State teammate Haskins, Howe was just as dominant in the women’s portion of the race as she won easily with her time of 18:07.39.

Howe, who capped off an outstanding college career last fall by becoming the first runner in KSU history to qualify for the NCAA national cross country championships, was using the race as a tuneup for the upcoming Peachtree Road Race.

“It was a slow race for me,” Howe said. “It was tough to run with, like, 200 guys, but it was fun. I love cross country, though it doesn’t make for fast running.”

A number of Cobb County cross country standouts finished behind Howe in the women’s standings. Harrison’s Maria Boff (20:21.98) and Elyse Bray (21:48.62) were second and third, respectively, while rising Allatoona freshman Meagan Hobbs (22:10.63) was fourth and Allatoona’s Emily Dunn (22:24.42) placed fifth.

According to Summer Solstice organizers, complete results of the race will be posted later this week at www.runcobb.com.
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