Roelle defends 1,000-meter NAIA national title for E. Oregon

March 11, 2015

Hans Roelle Track and FieldEastern Oregon University runner Hans Roelle of Anchorage defended his 1,000-meter title at the NAIA Indoor National Championships in Ohio.

His winning time of 2:25.62 is more than two seconds faster than what he ran to win last year [2:28.38] and just off his school record [2:25.38] set last year.

Much like last year, Roelle, of West High fame, had the fastest qualifying time of the meet in the prelims and then in the finals he used a devastating kick to pull away from the competition over the last 100 meters to win by 1.86 seconds; last year he won by 1.34 seconds.

“This was a very emotional win for Hans, especially as he was defending champion, came into nationals with the fastest seed time and was nursing an Achilles problem,” Eastern Oregon coach Ben Welch told me. “The dominating fashion in which he won says a lot of his character and competitiveness. What a way for an outstanding young man to end his collegiate indoor career.”

Eastern Oregon’s Isaac Updike of Ketchikan also finished his indoor career on a high note, taking fourth in a deep 3,000-meter field that had both last year’s champion and this past fall’s cross country champion.

Updike hung tight with that lead group and came up a bit short in a wild finish after a slow first 2,000 meters. While the overall time was not that fast, the manner it was run was pretty impressive, Welch said.

Updike’s time of 8:30.81 was well off his school record [8:23.70] but his two 1,500 splits were 4:28.8 and 4:02.0 – the latter being the equivalent of a sub 4:20 over 1600 meters.

Calvin Edward of Wasilla ran the 1,200-meter leg of the distance medley relay and Ketchikan’s Lucas Updike, twin brother of Isaac, competed in the 3,000. Never Alaskan advanced to the final.

But Edward became the second-fastest individual to run the opening leg for EOU, behind only Roelle from past years, when he ran 3:06.5 over 1200 meters to hand off right in the thick of things in their preliminary heat.