Roelle caps college career with NAIA steeplechase national title

May 27, 2018

Rachel Roelle track and field

Rachel Roelle

Weather delays couldn’t derail Eastern Oregon University senior Rachel Roelle of Anchorage at the NAIA Track & Field Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

She remained calm, cool and collected before dropping the hammer on the competition for a dominating victory in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Roelle, of West High fame, crushed her own school record by 30 seconds with a time of 10:19.06.

“We knew that Rachel was ready to run fast, but what a dominant performance,” EOU coach Ben Welch told the school’s website. “When you consider all the storm delays, her composure was remarkable. The entire race she looked calm and in control, eventually pulling away for a commanding win.”

A couple runners hung close with Roelle until the final two laps, when she turned on the jets. The Alaskan finished her final lap in 1:18.75, her fastest lap of the race by nearly seven seconds.

The national championship was her first but the All-American finish was the fourth of her college career.