Mercer wins own invitational

ahmed_jama_1Men’s Results – Missing the first two races of the season posed no issue for sophomore Ahmed Jama, who won the individual crown en route to pacing the Mercer men to the team victory in the Julius Johnson Invitational on Friday at the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home.

Jama, who was racing for the first time competitively this fall, finished in 26 minutes and 38.83 seconds to lead a group of seven Bears who finished in the top-10 of the 8K event. He defended his title at the Julius Johnson Invitational, as he won the inaugural race a year ago.

Freshmen Michael Rowlands (28:43.81) and Marc Reiser (29:08.94) finished third and fourth while sophomore Justin Hanson (29:17.71) claimed fifth place. Sam Gelabert (29:34.74), Mac Power (30:00.77) and Mark Brannen (30:25.09) placed seventh, ninth and 10th individually.

Mercer’s total time was 2:23:24.03. The Orange and Black was the only Division I men’s team in the race, but finished ahead of Armstrong State (2:36:26.71) and Georgia Military College (2:44:15.71) to round out the top-three.

COACH BAILEY’S TAKE
“I was hoping Ahmed would repeat and I’m glad he pulled it out tonight against some stiff competition from Armstrong State’s Henning Schein,” Bailey said. “This was the first 8K for our freshmen and they all raced very well – I’m definitely impressed with Michael Rowlands who placed third overall and ran what looked like a very respectable time.”

UP NEXT
Mercer travels to Oxford, Alabama next weekend to run in its second event of the season hosted by Jacksonville State. The Bears will look to continue their success from Friday into the Jacksonville State Foothills Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1.

FOLLOW THE BEARS
For complete coverage of Mercer Cross Country, please visit the official home of Mercer Athletics at MercerBears.com.

 

 

Women’s results

 Senior Victoria Rogers continued an impressive senior season with a second-place finish at the Julius Johnson Invitational, leading the Mercer women’s cross country team to a runner-up effort at the Georgia Industrial victoria_rogers_1Children’s Home on Friday.

Rogers ran the women’s 5K in 19 minutes and 45.21 seconds, approximately six seconds behind Georgia Southern’s Ashton Lord, who won the event in 19:39.28. The Eagles would go on to take the team victory as they split the top-10 with Mercer but claimed three of the top five finishes.

Courtney Czerniak (20:02.11), McKaylin Darsey (20:13.81), Kimberly Whiting (20:24.59) and Anna Grzeszczak (20:35.56) finished fifth, seventh, ninth and 10th, respectively to round out Mercer’s top finishers. Every Mercer runner finished in less than 24 minutes and placed no higher than 27th overall.

COACH BAILEY’S TAKE
“I’m thankful for our freshman class,” Bailey said. “We’re very young on the women’s side and I feel like we just ran out of ground tonight – if this were a 6K, we might have beat [Georgia Southern]. But, considering this is our freshmen’s first collegiate 5K, I’m proud of them.”

UP NEXT
Mercer travels to Oxford, Alabama next weekend to run in its second event of the season hosted by Jacksonville State. The Bears will look to continue their success from Friday into the Jacksonville State Foothills Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1.

FOLLOW THE BEARS
For complete coverage of Mercer Cross Country, please visit the official home of Mercer Athletics at MercerBears.com.

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