Roelle rips off two PRs, wins three medals at conference meet

May 13, 2018

Rachel Roelle Cross Country Track

Rachel Roelle

Anchorage’s Rachel Roelle of Eastern Oregon University ripped off a massive 11-second personal record in the 1,500-meter run at the Cascade Conference Championships in Hermiston, Oregon.

The senior clocked a time of 4:34.01 to break a 9-year-old school record and hit the NAIA national qualifying mark in earning a silver medal in the women’s final.

She wasn’t finished.

Roelle, of West High fame, dropped three seconds off her PR in finishing second in the 800 in 2:16.19.

She earned her third silver medal at the championships by running a 60.8-second split to help Eastern Oregon place second in the 4×400 relay.

“We wanted to let her take a break from the steeplechase prior to Nationals and run a few bonus races to hone her speed headed into Nationals in two weeks,” coach Ben Welch told me. “She made excellent use of the opportunity.”

Roelle will enter the NAIA Championships with the fastest time in the 3,000 steeplechase by a small margin.

The meet will take place May 24-26 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

At the University of Oregon Twilight meet last weekend she kicked her way to a PR in the steeple by running a 10:44.21 – the No. 1 time in the NAIA.

“There should be more in the tank too,” Welch said.

Welch, of Wasilla High fame, received the Cascade Conference’s Men’s Track and Field Coach of the Year award after leading the Mountaineers to the win. Welch earned the award for the fourth time in his career.