NEW ORLEANS – Oregon senior middle distance runner Laura Roesler was named the USTFCCCA Division I Women’s National Athlete of the Week, Monday.
The returning national 800 meters runner-up both indoors and outdoors from a year ago, Roesler’s first go at her signature race in 2014 cemented her as one of the early favorites at this year’s championships. The Oregon senior ran away from the field at the Kentucky Rod McCravy Invitational on Saturday – the Division I Meet of the Week – and turned in a winning time of 2:01.32 on UK’s oversized track (291m) for the second-fastest indoor all-conditions performance in collegiate history in an Oregon school record. She finished more than five seconds clear of runner-up Yanique Malcom of Alabama.
“The USTFCCCA dubbed the Rod McCravy Invitational its Meet of the Week,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “When you go out and face the excellent fields that Coach Floreal put together, winning races is that much more impressive. Laura’s performance in the 800, DMR and 4x400 was a great triple. We are excited for what the rest of the season holds for her and the rest of the team.”
In addition to her individual showing at 800 meters on Saturday, she also the 800-meter leg of the Ducks’ nation-leading distance medley relay in approximately 2:02.5 on Friday. Hers was the decisive leg of the relay, as she gave the Ducks a lead that would eventually translate to a 10:56.77 – fourth-fastest in school history.
Roesler returned to the track Saturday for the Ducks’ 4×400 relay, which finished second.
The honor is the first for an Oregon athlete in the two-year history of the award.