Janusiak finishes in top 50 at NCAA Division III Championships

Lawrence's Josh Janusiak finished 48th at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Lawrence's Josh Janusiak finished 48th at the NCAA Division III Championships.

ELSAH, Ill. -- Lawrence University cross country star Josh Janusiak came within seconds of being an All-American at Saturday's NCAA Division III Championships.

The junior from South Milwaukee, Wis., finished 48th on the 8,000-meter Principia College North Farm Cross Country Course. Janusiak finished in a time of 25:04.74, which was just four seconds shy of the final All-America spot.

"Josh ran a fantastic race," Lawrence coach Jason Fast said. "That's what I told him. When you're that close, we were right to think he could be an All-American."

Running in rainy and windy conditions, Janusiak became Lawrence's highest finisher at the national meet since Chris Naumann took 41st in 1989.

"My legs were a little tired today. I think that was a result of the conditions and the hilly course," said Janusiak, Lawrence's first NCAA qualifier since Peter Levi in 2000. "I'm happy with where I ended up. Forty-eighth is pretty great. I can't complain about that at all."

The race was won by UW-Eau Claire's Darin Lau, who took the title in 24:03.59.

"It's a little disappointing, but at the same time, Josh did everything he could," Fast said. "When you're running against the best in the country, it's going to come down to a couple seconds here or a couple seconds there and today he was on the wrong side of it."

Just minutes after finishing his first run at the NCAA Championships, Janusiak sounded like he was ready to do it again next fall.

"It was great to come my junior year because I'll have that experience if I make it back here as a senior," Janusiak said.