Athlete of the Week: Josh Janusiak

Photo by Emei Thompson

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Josh Janusiak this week to congratulate him on his fabulously successful season.


Sarah Grubbe (SG): Your hard work is obviously paying off as is evident in breaking some of the school’s oldest records, like breaking the mark in the 5,000 meters at the UW- La Crosse Qualifier. How do you feel about the success?


Josh Janusiak (JJ): I am very excited at how my running career at Lawrence has been going, and it is very rewarding to meet so many goals and break school records after dedicating eight years of my life to distance training. I know that I wouldn’t be having the success I’m having without the support of my caring and fun team, so some of the success should be attributed to them as well. These people motivated me and helped me maintain my passion for the sport.


SG: Especially with the All Academics honors award, it’s apparent that you’re juggling a lot of balls and doing quite well with them! How are you managing in the middle of a hectic term?


JJ: Everyone at Lawrence has a lot on their plate and I’m no different, but it does add stress to time management having practice every day and meets almost every Saturday. Most teachers try to respect the schedules of athletes but I’m currently having kind of a difficult time doing everything I need to do.


SG: Could you have predicted this success based off of your prior results?


JJ: Running is a very unpredictable sport since so many parts of your body have to be working at full capacity at one time, and I have been extremely lucky with regard to injuries. I do think that I am running the times I was hoping to be able to run since high school, but I don’t necessarily think I could have predicted the amount of improvement. I have been pleasantly surprised by where Coach Fast’s training plan has led me.


SG: How do you feel with the season coming to a close?


JJ: I am very happy with how the cross country teams have been doing, and Conference this past weekend was a highlight. I am personally very happy to have won Conference for a second time, and I am very excited for Regionals in two weeks where I am hoping to qualify for Nationals for the first time.


SG: What are you thinking when you’re about to cross the finish line?

JJ: I honestly try to keep my brain shut down during most of the race, but sometimes when I am nearing the finish I feel a very strong sense of impending relief and usually also a little bit of worry that I’ll pass out or something. It’d be a shame to run almost 8,000 kilometers just to get a DNF.


SG: Do you have a favorite pre-race food?


JJ: Eating anything before a race makes me feel disgusting, but I usually try to force a little bit of oatmeal and tea into my stomach.