Roelle wins blistering 800, beats D1 runner in photo finish

April 13, 2014

Hans Roelle Track and FieldAfter playing possum early, Anchorage’s Hans Roelle of Eastern Oregon University picked up the pace late to win a big 800-meter race at the WAR VII track and field meet in Spokane, Wash.

The junior sat back in the pack for the first lap before unleashing a killer kick that saw him post a personal-best time of 1:51.17 en route to beating a Gonzaga runner in a photo finish.

Andy Phillips finished second in 1:51.83, a Gonzaga record. Roelle’s time ranks No. 2 in EOU history.

Roelle, of West High fame, ran the first lap in 55.6 seconds and the second lap in 55.5 on the second lap.

“Running that even at that speed in an 800 is pretty tough,” EOU coach Ben Welch told me.

Roelle’s time is the second-fastest in NAIA this season as he hit the NAIA “A” standard for nationals.

After the 800, he came back to rip a 48.8 split on the third leg of Eastern Oregon’s 4×400 relay team that finished fourth. The WAR VII meet featured a dozen teams from Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

Last month, Roelle won the 1,000-meter run at the NAIA Indoor Championships, again using a kick down the stretch to beat the field.