Rowan’s Kevin Lauer Reflects on Competing in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships

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Rowan's Kevin Lauer crossing the finish line at the NCAA Division III Metro Regional Meet. Lauer competed in his final meet of this season last Saturday at the NCAA Division III Championships where he finished 172nd. Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. - Staff Photographer / Lee Kotzen

The cross country season came to a close Saturday, Nov. 20 as Kevin Lauer, a junior, was the only Prof to represent the Rowan men’s team at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.

Lauer ran a season best time, clocking in at 25:14.6 and placing 172 out of 280 competitors to wrap up the season.

“It was nice, you know, it felt really good to reach that time,” Lauer said. 

He also added that he has learned more about himself, how he is always striving to accomplish more and improve. As well as proving to other people that he belonged to be in that spot.

“I’ve learned though that I’m someone who is never content, I always look to do better and always think back about the race and think about if I had just done this or that differently. I could have ran under 25:00, and if I broke 25:00 that would have been really cool and I probably would be more content,” Lauer said. “But I’m happy with the time I ran, and it proved that it wasn’t just a fluke– that I earned my spot here just as much as anyone else.”

Lauer was quick to point out that his preparation before was a little different but he mostly stuck with his standard pre-race routines.

“Prepared with a lot of the same stuff from the regular season, just doing what I know to stay comfortable,” Lauer said. “When we got there I went out on the course and the day before the race I ran through the course with three other guys from our conference just to get some perspective. And two days before, I was able to do a faster type of workout on the course to get a feel for the ground surface and understanding the material.” 

The team now looks at a quick turnaround, with the indoor track season right ahead. Lauer was able to shed some light on how the team will react with such little time between seasons.

“We take some time off, about seven to ten days of no running, and just let our bodies recover and everything after all that mileage so that we don’t do any damage to our legs,” Lauer said. “We do start up workouts and easy runs right after that, especially for our sprint guys who have a meet in less than two weeks. But for the distance guys, we don’t race until the 21st of January. So we got about two months of preparation, which is mentally really good for us.”

Lauer closed out by talking about his goals and the team’s goals for the indoor season. 

“Personally, going to Nationals is an expectation at this point, and I really want to grab another All-American so I’ll be working hard,” Lauer said. “From a team perspective, we are bringing back a lot of guys from last year’s outdoor team or bringing in people who are just as good or better. So we expect to make some noise and it is going to be an exciting year. I don’t want to say anything too ambitious but keep an eye out for what we do at that Nationals meet because I think it is going to be something special.”

The Indoor Track & Field season will begin on Friday, Dec. 3 at the Fasttrack Season Opener. 

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