Junior Kevin Lawson Leads UD Men’s Cross Country To Victory In All-Ohio Race

Mackenzie Berk
Contributing Writer

Cover photo courtesy of Dayton Athletics

One A-10 honor just wasn’t enough for junior Kevin Lawson. The Atlantic 10 Conference recognized the Cincinnati native with his second consecutive A-10 Performer of the Week after the All-Ohio Championships on Sept. 28.

I spoke with Lawson, a chemical engineering major, about his reaction to receiving these acknowledgments. 

“It means people notice what we’re doing. Personally, it serves as validation that I’m on the right track,” Lawson said. “Coach Ordway designs his training to help us improve each year, so in a sense, it’s my turn to step up as an upperclassman. The A-10 honors, in a sense, formalized that effort on my part.” 

A runner since seventh grade, Lawson attributes his focus to his habit of reminding himself why he does it: to take advantage of opportunities to challenge himself. Lawson sees his running on the young squad as leadership.

“The type of training we do takes individual effort and dedication, so I think role models are more effective than enforcers,” Lawson said.  

This season the men’s squad has earned solid victories. Although only coming in third place in the National Catholic Invitational, Dayton has placed first in three out of four meets this season: the Queen City Invitational 5K, the Friendship Invitational 8K and, most recently, competing against 38 Ohio colleges and 301 student-athletes in the All-Ohio Championship title. 

Courtesy of Cedarville University Athletics

In this Collegiate 8K, three UD athletes achieved personal bests: Lawson (25:39.5), Kyle Vernot (26:00.7) and Brandon Christopher (26:12.4). Conner Johanssen ran for his own personal record of 27:16.4 in the Open 8K. 

Upcoming races will test the Flyers’ ability. These races include the  Atlantic 10 Championships 8K (Nov. 2), NCAA Great Lakes Regional 10K (Nov. 15) and the possibility of competing at the NCAA National Championships 10K (Nov. 23). 

“How we perform at our conference race and the regional race usually dictate how we define a season’s success,” Lawson said.

Additionally, Lawson shared his insight on the team’s engagement in the community. Men’s cross country actively participates in many events. Lawson specifically mentioned the Epsilon Nu Tau Donut Dash, indicating that at last year’s philanthropic event the team “swept the podium,” and they would like some extra competition at this event in March.