Shane Vostenak wins NJAC Rookie of the Year for Rowan Men’s Cross Country

Shane Vostenak runs during the Border Battle. Vostenak was named NJAC Rookie of the Year for men's cross country. Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. - Photo / Rowan Athletics

Freshman Shane Vostenak has taken a major step to cement himself as a key piece for Rowan’s men’s cross country and track and field for future seasons. 

After missing last season with an injury, Vostenak has finally found his footing and has continued to make strides all year. Most recently, Vostenak has been honored with New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Year and has been named NJAC Second Team All-Conference. 

“I think the most important thing for me was just staying healthy for a decent period of time,” Vostenak said. “Staying consistent in this sport is just so important and building training on training on training and just keep on putting money in the bank with each workout, each week… that I think has been the most important thing for me.” 

Head Coach Dustin Dimit has recognized the growth and improvement from Vostenak and is proud of him, but also excited for what is to come. 

“All along he has put in whatever we had asked him to, just making sure we stay healthy and listen to our bodies,” Coach Dimit said. “Once he figured that part out, we saw the talent and the big improvement in track… he’s had that carry over into this season as well. He ran great and was all conference and Rookie of the Year there so we’re excited about that and proud of the improvement and the work he’s put in.”

Vostenak has seen success wherever he has gone. In high school, Vostenak attended Bishop Eustace Preparatory where he competed for two years on the team’s cross country and track teams, receiving All-Conference honors and being named the team’s most valuable player. He was also a member of the 2019 State Championship Winter track team.

“I think that’s what draws some people to the program,” Coach Dimit added. “If you have success in high school, you realize it’s always more fun when you’re winning and we have a chance to win every conference championship… We expect big things from him the rest of this season and into track as well.”

Vostenak is the first Prof to win NJAC Rookie of the Year since his teammate, junior Dario Epifania, was named Rookie of the Year in 2019. It is something he will use as a stepping stone as he sets his sights on something bigger. 

“It was a nice accomplishment,” Vostenak said. “I feel blessed to even be able to train and every day I come to practice, I feel like I’m surrounded by family… Being excited to come to practice every day, is just the right atmosphere for a lot of improvement… Maybe next year I can sneak Runner of the Year.”

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