Janusiak shatters his own 5,000 record

Once again, the spotlight belongs to none other than senior Josh Janusiak, who has established himself as the most dominant distance runner in Lawrence history. Janusiak and sophomore Joe Kortenhof ran the 5,000 at the UW-Platteville Invitational last weekend, where Janusiak chewed through the 5,000 in 14:42.86, shattering his own record—which he set in 2017— by over 20 seconds. “I feel a certain kind of freedom now that I am only trying to break my own records,” Janusiak said, “Personally, I am a runner who does the best with the least amount of external pressure, (I have enough of it in my own mind), so I am kind of relieved that I am competing with many of my own times at this point. This past year, I’ve also been putting a lot more focus on the ‘little things’ like doing planks, putting more effort into lifting, nutrition, sleep, etc.”

Janusiak’s time clocks in at 23 overall nationally. “I also have my sights set on qualifying for Nationals in the 10,000 meter since that is definitely my best distance. I think it would be cool to win both the 5,000 meter and the 10,000 meter. I think it would be cool to win both… at Conference this year as well.” Of course, Janusiak is only half of Lawrence’s one-two punch in the distance races. Kortenhof can fly as well. At the UW-Platteville Invitational, he finished 58th with a time of 15:33.45. Kortenhof is a high level in his own right, but moreso he’s a great teammate and training partner. “Joe is very helpful as a teammate. This past indoor track season, for example, I wasn’t feeling very motivated, but Joe had a really impressive season and that kept me on my toes. There were a few races when I felt like giving up or slowing down, but Joe would take the lead and push the pace, so I knew I had to go with him and I ended up pushing myself (with his help) to a lot of PR’s and records. I know I wouldn’t have run as fast in the indoor season if Joe hadn’t been competing so well. Joe is also very focused as an athlete and his whole lifestyle revolves around being a healthy person and competitor, so he is a good role model for our team.”

Janusiak is gearing up to make a run at his goal of competing at Nationals by travelling to Azusa, California on Thursday, April 19 to compete at the Bryan Clay Invite. He has a unique opportunity to represent the Lawrence athletic community across the country, and will undoubtedly need all the extra juice he can get. “I would just like to say that the support that students, professors, and coaches have shown me at Lawrence has been amazing! Even though it may seem pretty inconsequential to say, ‘Good job at the meet!’ or to ask me how my race went, little things like this play a huge role in my motivation to keep performing at a high level. I want other people on campus to know that I am very impressed with the wide variety of talents and skills that Lawrentians have (even if they are not as easily categorized or measurable as running), and I hope that we all keep trying to become the best we can be at the things we love to do, even if we have to struggle through the occasional rough patch!”