Rowan Men’s Cross Country Finishes Fourth at the NCAA Division III Metro Regional Meet

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Rowan's men's cross country during the NCAA Division III Metro Regional Meet. The team would place fourth in the meet. Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. - Staff Photographer / Lee Kotzen

The Rowan men’s cross country team capped their season off at the NCAA Division III Metro Regional meet this past Saturday finishing fourth overall in the region, keeping the team from qualifying for the NCAA Championship.

The top runners for the team were junior Kevin Lauer, who qualified for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship and finished eighth in the region with a time of 25:48.57 and junior Jeff Stewart who clocked in at 26:13.91.

“We really just ran into some bad luck,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “We had one guy get sick at a bad time and miss the race and another guy lost a shoe during the race so luck just wasn’t on our side.” 

Top finisher Lauer also reiterated that, believing that luck just wasn’t on their side that day.

“We really did have some bad things happen,” Lauer said. “We were where we needed to be and we ran well but some things that we really couldn’t control happened and put us in the position to finish fourth instead of in the top two but teams in front of us also ran really well so props to them as well.”

Coach Dimit believes that the team grew a lot over the season but could still use some improvements.

“We really grew as a team all year,” Dimit said. “We have to work on consistency, you know just having everybody run well every week instead of having some guys one week and other guys another week and we also need to be a little more confident in racing.” 

Coach Dimit and Lauer both believe that this season was a big step forward for the team.

“This season was a good learning lesson and really just got us back into it after not having a season last year with COVID-19,” Dimit said. 

Lauer also believes that they will be better off next year.

“The future is bright,” Lauer said. “We have a lot of guys coming back next year and some freshmen that will definitely improve after this season. Freshman year is always the hardest with training because of the jump in distance.” 

Coach Dimit did praise his team and acknowledge the highlights of the season and this past weekend.

“We may have had some bad luck, but sometimes you need to look at the things you did do and think to yourself that it’s pretty good,” Dimit said. “I mean we had four guys make it All-Region, which is the most we have had in a long time, so that’s good and then you just think about what we could have done if we had that fifth guy and realize that we were right where we wanted to be but just ran into some bad luck.” 

Coach Dimit also recognized Lauer for what he had accomplished.

“We’re so proud of him,” Dimit said. “He has been resilient all year and although it hasn’t been the season he really wanted he still reached the goal that he had for himself and got where we wanted to be.” 

 Lauer, overall, is proud of how he and the team have performed throughout each game. 

“This season for the team has been really up and then down and then up again but we started to figure it out a little bit towards the end of the year so we will build from this,” Lauer said. “Right now, I’m going to go into this and enjoy it like a last hurrah and then get ready for the next season ahead of me.”

Lauer will be the only Prof to compete this Saturday, Nov. 20, at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

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