Kevin Lauer running at the Philadelphia Metro Championships earlier this season. He placed first in the race. Photo / Rowan Athletics

Sophomore Kevin Lauer has been flying high throughout this cross country season but not just as an athlete.

He literally flies planes.

“My post college goal is to actually be an airline pilot,” Lauer said. “I am a student pilot right now. It is a lot of fun. If you enjoy doing it, it isn’t very difficult.”

Lauer is from Mount Laurel, New Jersey, right over the bridge from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He has placed fifth in the Stockton race this season, as well as first in the Philadelphia Metro Championships. This winning potential was found long ago.

“I think first grade was when I realized I was the ‘fast kid’,” Lauer said. “In first grade we did the mile run and I finished in six minutes and eighteen seconds as a first grader. That was when I discovered I had a talent for it, but I didn’t really embrace it until around seventh grade.”

Back in the day, he was a varsity swimmer, as well as a varsity lacrosse player. In his childhood, he was always outside doing something.

“I was never inside, I was always out with my friends,” Lauer said. “I ran cross country as a kid, besides that we were playing every sport we could under the sun, running around the neighborhood, cops and robbers, capture the flag. I was always outside doing stuff.”

As an athlete, he is very determined and has a unique role model that keeps him motivated.

“Eliud Kepchoge. He’s trying to break two hours in a marathon, which is running a 4:34 pace for 26.2 miles. He’s on a whole new level of athlete,” Lauer said. “His mindset and everything that he does, he’s a multimillionaire, and he lives in a shack in Kenya to be with his team. He’s just a model athlete.”

As Eliud has his goal of breaking two hours in a marathon, Lauer has his own goal as well.

“I absolutely want to break four minutes in the mile one day,” Lauer said. “That is a huge goal and it is something that only one other division three athlete has ever done in history in indoor track. My high school coach told me I couldn’t do it. A lot of people have told me I couldn’t do it. It is in my head already and I am going to make it happen.”

Talk about a determined athlete. There will never be a moment where Lauer does not seek to get what he wants.

“I am persistent. If it doesn’t work the first time, I’m just going to keep going after it until it actually does happen,” he said. “If I want something to happen, I’m going to make it happen. I’m not going to let someone talk me out of it, it’s going to happen.”

Lauer’s mindset would not be possible without the people behind him. His team means the world to him. 

“My team keeps me motivated to keep on working. That’s it. Everybody on the team,” Lauer said. “During the summer, we do our training by ourselves and it is extremely difficult to run these crazy miles by yourself. You almost get down on yourself in the summer. But when you finally get here with the team, it really motivates you to keep going.”

When asked what his proudest moment on the team was so far, it was not any particular achievement. Rather, it was what he does every single day.

“Being with the team every day,” Lauer said. “We support each other every single day. It’s my favorite part of the day, just being here.”

Not only is Lauer motivated to reach his personal goals, but he is driven to achieve all of his team’s goals as well.

“It is coming down to this year where winning NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference] and going to nationals is no longer a hope, it is an expectation,” Lauer said. “We go to these races and we are looked at by all of these other teams who perform a certain way. It is absolutely fantastic.”

Kevin Lauer is definitely a name to watch as the season goes on. He is driven, he is humble, and he will accomplish anything he sets his mind to.

Look out for him when the Profs travel to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the Paul Short Run on Oct 5.

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