By ANDY HEINTZ
Courier sports writer
---- — IOWA CITY — Former Ottumwa cross country star Kevin Lewis helped the University of Iowa cross country team win the Black and Gold Invitational.
The Bulldog icon won the 6,000 meter title by clocking a personal best time of 18:33 in his first race of the season. Lewis' superb performance ranks him sixth all time in Hawkeye history.
The Hawkeye men took first with a score of 18, which beat Alabama's 53 and Iowa State's 57 points.
Lewis was one of the all-time great runners at Ottumwa in both cross country and track and field. He won the Class 4A individual state championships in the 3,200-meter run and 1,600 meter runs and he became the first Bulldog runner to win the individual cross country state championship since 1934 when he accomplished the feat in Nov. 2010. In his state-winning 3,200 run he set an Iowa State meet record with a blistering time of 9:05.25 and he shattered the 3,200 meet record at the Drake Relays with a time of 9:05.58.
"He has something in his heart and mind that he wants to be the best he can be," Ottumwa track and field coach Jim Nickerson, who coached Lewis when he ran at Ottumwa, said. "He has always had the ability to push himself when no one else is around. He has a special ingredient in his heart and his mind to do well. He's just a special individual. He's amazing is the best way to say it as a coach."
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