And then there is Hans Roelle of Anchorage.
He’s the best of both.
The Eastern Oregon University senior runner has been named 2015 Academic All-American of the Year for men’s track and cross country by the College of Sports Information Directors of American [CoSIDA].
He is the first person in school history to win the prestigious honor.
“Hans is the kind of athlete every coach dreams about coaching,” EUO coach Ben Welch of Wasilla told me. “He is one of the easiest, high quality athletes I have worked with in 27 years as a head coach. Outside of some difficulties in keeping him healthy, he was super easy to coach and in regards to keeping him healthy, the reason he stayed as healthy as he did down through the years is because he was very diligent in taking care of himself and utilizing the tools at our disposal to do so.”
Roelle, of West High fame, was a 3-time NAIA national champion as a runner and a 6-six time All-American as a student.
“Hans is a brilliant competitor and student with a tremendous work ethic,” Welch said. “To win three national titles and maintain about a 3.85 GPA with double majors of Mathematics and Computer Science is just simply outstanding. On top of that, he has behaved in an extremely exemplarily way off the track and out of the classroom.”
Roelle told the school’s website the key to his success boils down to sacrifice and time management.
“As a student athlete, it is difficult to find the time in a day to do everything you want to academically and athletically,” he said. “Being able to effectively determine whether an extra hour of sleep or an extra hour of study time is more important can make a big difference.”
The Capital One college division Academic All-American men’s cross country/track and Field teams are comprised of runners from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions, and are nominated, voted up on and selected by members of CoSIDA.
“The best advice I could give a student-athlete is to be smart with time management by determining the best use of any free time,” Roelle said. “This also includes finding the time for activities that allow you to keep your mind off school and athletics without compromising performance in either.”