Roelle, Updike earn NAIA automatic qualifying times on track
It didn’t take long for Anchorage’s Hans Roelle and Ketchikan’s Isaac Updike of Eastern Oregon University to punch their ticket to the biggest meet of the season.
Rolle, of West High fame, earned an NAIA automatic qualifying mark in the 1,000-meter run when he finished seventh in 2:26.81 behind some of the best middle-distance runners in the country.
The winner of the event was Matthew Centrowitz, the fourth-place finisher at the London Olympics in the 1,500 and a world championship medalist. Second was Evan Jager, the U.S. record holder in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Roelle was the only non-professional or non NCAA D1 runner in the fast heat.
“He got drug out kind of fast for where our training is right now, but rallied late in the race to finish strong and record his second-fastest time ever in the event, behind only his prelim run at the 2014 NAIA Indoor Championships,” his coach Ben Welch told me.
Closing out the meet for EOU was Updike in the 3,000, where he recorded a very solid early season time of 8:26.10 to qualify an NAIA automatic qualifying mark.
“Not bad for his first race since early May of 2014 and only third race since the NAIA Indoor Championships in March of 2014,” Welch said.
Updike redshirted outdoor last spring and ran out of college cross country eligibility this past fall, so has just been focusing on training since indoor last year.