Mercer Julius Johnson Invitational Results – Mercer perspective

Mercer University freshman Ahmed Jama picked up his first collegiate win on Friday night, leading the men’s cross country to dominant win in the inaugural Julius Johnson Invitational.

The Bears came close to a perfect score, placing five runners among the top-seven to cruise to the team title with a total tally of 23 on their home course. Jacksonville State finished second with a score of 36 on the evening.

Jama led from the start in the second 8k of his career, winning the 35-competitor race with a time of 26:52.16. Nicholas Ashmead was the next Bear to complete the course, finishing fourth with a time of 28:18.57.

Mark Brannen and Abraham Balawi made it four Mercer runners in the top six with near identical times of 28:37.70 and 28:38.70. Evan Park rounded out the top five for Mercer, crossing the line in 28:58.56 to give the Bears their best score since totaling 18 in 2014’s triumph at the Struts Season Opener.

Connor Veith finished ninth in 29:20.94 to lead the rest of the Mercer contingent, as he was followed by Cameron Gatt (29:21.42), Ross Porter (29:22.80), Aurelien Bourgeon (29:27.53) and Justin Hanson (29:39.26).

The Bears return to action next weekend, as they compete in the Upstate Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C. on Oct. 3.

Full story here.

Jenna Gipperich nears the finish line in the Women’s 5k. She ran a 19:14.87 to lead the Bears.

The Mercer University women’s cross country team got top-five finishes from seniors Jenna Gipperich and Kami Orrender to claim the inaugural Julius Johnson Invitational at the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home on Friday evening.

Gipperich nearly eclipsed her top time from the 2014 season in the team’s first 5k of the year, finishing second to lead the Bears with the a time of 19:14.87. Kami Orrender followed with a fifth-place effort, crossing the line in 19:32.04.

The Bears had two other finishers place among the top-10 with Bethanie Bailey (20:10.38) and Katie-Rose Alligood (20:26.23) coming in ninth and tenth.Courtney Czerniak rounded out the scoring for Mercer with a 13th-place finish to help Mercer edge out Georgia State by two points for the team title.

Mercer posted an average time of 19:59.25 on its home course to total 39 points on the night, beating out Georgia State’s 41-point effort. Georgia Southern finished third in the six-team field with a score of 50, while Jacksonville State was fourth with 100 points.

Victoria Rogers finished sixth for the Bears with a time of 20:37.60, while Cheyenne Andrew (20:45.77), Keightley Dudgeon (21:00.12), Shannon Millikin(21:05.19), Kataryna O’Neil (21:07.42) and Brianna Wahy (21:46.47) closed out Mercer’s participants in the event.

The Bears return to action next weekend, as they compete in the Upstate Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C. on Oct. 3.

Full story here.

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