Aug. 3, 2015
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Boise State cross country rising sophomore Jeff Lautenslager took third in the New Zealand Cross Country Championships in the junior men’s 8K race this past Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Lautenslager – who grew up in Nelson, New Zealand – finished the race in 25:39, just 16 seconds short of the winner, Marcus Karamanolis (25:23). Lautenslager was in the lead at the outset of the race after the 1.5K mark, but a trailing competitor accidentally stepped on his heel, forcing his shoe to pop off.
After taking 10 seconds to put the shoe back on, Lautenslager quickly made up ground to get back into the lead pack, but Karamanolis’ momentum was too much to overcome.
“I was feeling incredible until I had to stop and put the shoe back on,” Lautenslager said. “I was able to get back to the group pretty easily, but I wasn’t feeling so good then. I had to put it out of my mind and focus on the race.”
Despite not winning, the third-place result is Lautenslager’s best finish at the New Zealand Cross Country Championships since he took eighth in the M18 race in 2013.
Lautenslager will run his first cross country season for the Broncos this coming fall after he redshirted in 2014. The rising sophomore competed in both the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons, however, helping the distance medley relay team to a fourth-place effort at the Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships. He also competed at the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships where he took 15th in the 1,500m and 20th in the 5,000m.