Jake Caruso running at the Philadelphia Metro Championships earlier this year. Photo / Rowan Athletics

In a race that included teams from all three divisions of the NCAA, the Rowan University men’s cross country team rose to the occasion.

The Profs finished 25th out of 45 teams at the Paul Short Run on Oct. 9, placing higher than six Division I schools.

Sophomore Kevin Lauer was the top finisher for Rowan. He finished 38th out of 392 runners with a time of 25:16:1. This is a personal record for Lauer, as he shed two minutes off of his previous best for an 8k race.

This is a record that he did not see coming.

“I didn’t think I was going to go that fast,” Lauer said. “I knew what kind of shape I was in, I knew I was in good enough shape to go around 25:20-40.”

He did not even know how fast he was going until he was about three miles into the race.

“At three miles I was at about 14:58,” Lauer said. “Someone from another team told that to their runner, who I was right next to, and I was like ‘Wow. We are moving today.’ I felt good too, and I just wanted to carry through. It definitely surprised me going that quick, but it was an awesome feeling.”

After going toe-to-toe with some higher difficulty competition, Coach Dustin Dimit thinks the team is exactly where they are supposed to be.

“We’re right where we want to be,” Dimit said. “We’re ranked right outside the national poll. That is where we want to be so we can work our way into that by the end of the year, as well as working our way for an NJAC [New Jersey Atlantic Conference] title.”

On Oct. 19, the Brown and Gold will be heading over to the DREAM Park in Logan Township for the Inter-Regional Border Battle.

This is one of the largest collegiate meets in New Jersey history, and it is also the last race before the Profs prepare themselves for big meets such as the NJACs, Regionals, and NCAA Championships.

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