UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Kennesaw State runner keeps UNF on their toes

UNF runners will have to stay on their toes this season when it comes to Kennesaw State University cross country runner Mackenzie Howe.

“I wish I had five more just like her on our team,” KSU cross country Head Coach Stan Sims said. “We are really fortunate Howe is an all-round great asset to the team.”

Howe, a junior at KSU, won a record-tying sixth Atlantic Sun Conference Runner of the Week award, the second straight to begin the season, making her the only A-Sun runner to receive these awards this early in the game.

Winning the awards with her performances at the Jacksonville State University Struts Cross Country Opener in Oxford, Ala., with a time of 11:07 on the two-mile course and at the Powerade Invitational hosted by UT-Chattanooga in Chattanooga, Tenn. Mackenzie ran the two-mile course in 11:15 — the fastest times on her team.

“When you get honors like this, it makes you feel like all the hard work and dedication paid off,” Howe said.“It means a lot to me to win awards like this, so hopefully if I keep working at it, I can eventually break the record.”

As one of the top runners in the A-Sun during both her freshman and sophomore year, Howe really came into her own and established herself as a premier runner and competitor, according to Sims.

“She is not only a great runner, but does well academically, which I’m proud of,” he said.“It’s nice to have well-rounded players.”

Placing in the top five during six out of seven races last season, Howe gave other teams a margin to compete against and not only their own times to beat.

UNF has runners who should have no problem keeping on Howe’s heels, according to UNF Head Coach Mark VanAlstyne. Freshman runner Shelby Kittrell has been the lead runner for the UNF women this year. With an impressive amount of endurance and strength, Kittrell had the fastest recorded individual time of 18:45.09 for a 5K at the Ron Pynn Invitational in Grand Forks, N.D.

But it’s not about focusing on any one athlete, VanAlstyne said. It’s about who races and competes well at the end of the day.

“Any player on the team can provide leadership and have a great sense of purpose,” VanAlstyne said. “Our girls have done well against [Howe], but she is a cross competitor, which makes us step up our game.”

UNF’s main goal is to win in conference this year, which will be held in Deland at Stetson University. They have a young team with three out of the top four being freshmen.

Sims and his team of runners focus on training for the conference meets later in the year and said the best way to do so is to take advantage of the opportunities to place pressure on each individual’s best time.

Both UNF and KSU compete Nov. 14 at the NCAA Regional Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *