Kortenhof races to 52nd at NCAA Championships

Lawrence cross country action Joe Kortenhof
Joe Kortenhof finished 52nd at the NCAA Championships.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Lawrence University cross country star Joe Kortenhof raced to one of the fastest times in school history Saturday at the NCAA Division III Championships and took 52nd place.

Racing in his first NCAA meet, Kortenhof covered the 8,000 meters at Sawyer State Park in 25:08.1, one-tenth of a second faster than he ran at the Midwest Regional a week ago. His time is the third-fastest in Lawrence history.

"I was pleased with how I got out and put myself in a competitive position," said Kortenhof, a senior from Portland, Ore. "I gave it everything I had, and I'm happy with the result."

Kortenhof was 21st halfway through the race and had dropped back to 37th with 1,600 meters remaining. Kortenhof blistered the final 1,600 meters in 5:06.8 and ended up as the 14th finisher from the Midwest Region.

"I couldn't be more proud of Joe," Lawrence coach Jason Fast said. "He put himself right where he needed to be and did his best. This race should give him a great deal of confidence and motivation going forward knowing he belongs on this stage."

Patrick Watson of Stevenson University won the title with a time of 24:13.9. 

This marks the third consecutive season Lawrence has a sent a runner to the NCAA Championships, and Kortenhof is the 14th Lawrence runner to reach the Division III meet.