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BOYS TRACK: State titles and school records, GFC’s Camron Roehl is within striking distance of both

Camron Roehl has gone one up on his future coach.

Roehl set a Class A East Region meet record Saturday when he won the 3,200 with a time of 9 minutes, 32.21 seconds. That broke the mark of 9:35.34 set by Fargo South’s Andrew Carlson in 1999. Roehl has signed to compete in track at North Dakota State University; Carlson coaches the distance runners at NDSU.

“I’ll probably tell him, ‘I can’t believe I broke Andrew Carlson’s record,’ ’’ Roehl, a senior at Grand Forks Central High School, said. “Or I could ask him who would have won if we were running in high school at the same time.

“But I probably can’t say too much. He’s been an extremely successful runner. He’s still definitely got the advantage on me.’’

For now, Roehl is looking for his first state high school title. He figures to be a contender in the distance events at the North Dakota state meet, to be held Friday and Saturday in Bismarck. But Roehl doesn’t go in as a favorite.

Bismarck’s Matt Gotta and Roehl are seeded 1-2, respectively, in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Gotta’s best time in the 1,600 is 4:15.72, compared to Roehl’s 4:17.61. In the 3,200, Gotta has run a 9:15.57 compared to Roehl’s season-best of 9:22.92.

“I run better when there is good competition, when there is somebody on your heels or out in front who you’re chasing,’’ Roehl said. “There are about four or so other really good distance runners in our region. Running against those guys all the time has helped me.

“Obviously, the goal for any high school athlete is to win a state championship. If I don’t win, though, that won’t take away from the success I’ve had. And if you run a PR (personal record) and don’t win, if you’ve done your best, then you just accept that the other guy is better. I can walk away satisfied with a PR.’’

A personal record in either race also probably would put Roehl in the Central record book. Jim Herberg set school marks in 1980 in the 1,600 (4:15.44) and 3,200 (9:22.74. Both are within striking distance of Roehl’s best marks.

“I think Camron can reach those,’’ Central coach Sean Allan said. “Camron’s had a good year. At the state meet, with the adrenaline flowing and good runners pushing each other, I think those times are very reachable for him.

“When you get to the state meet, times don’t matter as much. You’re racing to win. The times will take care of themselves. The PRs can be used to push athletes. Camron has done that.’’

Roehl, who finished fourth at the state cross country meet last fall, is trying to make big jumps up. He didn’t place in the 1,600 and was seventh in the 3,200 at state as a junior.

The senior has put in the time to enhance his natural running ability.

“Camron knew what kind of work he needed to do to reach his times,’’ Allan said. “And he went out and did it. He’s cut more time than the average kid from junior to senior years. But he didn’t put in the average amount of mileage kids do.

“Camron put in 650 miles over the winter. Some kids put in no time. During the winter, 300 miles is a lot of work, especially with the winters we’ve had. But he has a desire to be successful.’’

Four to watch

Here are four other area athletes to watch in the Class A boys state track meet:

  •  Bradley Davidson, Devils Lake: The Firebirds sophomore has the top seeded time in the 100 (10.7 seconds) and is seeded fifth in the 200. Davidson has already proven himself on the state tournament stage – as a freshman last season, he placed fifth in the 100 and eighth in the 200.
  •  Ryan Enerson, Red River: The senior has top-five seeds in three events. He’s seeded second in the high jump (6-2) and 110 hurdles (14.90) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (40.06).
  •  Cole Kringstad, Red River: The senior is tied for the No. 3 seed with a season-best vault of 13 feet, 6 inches. A year ago, Kringstad was tied for the No. 6 seed entering state with a 12-6 vault; he wound up clearing 13-9 and winning the state championship.
  •  Derek Murph, Red River: The sophomore wasn’t even a state qualifier in the javelin last season. Now he goes in with the No. 3 seed with a season-best throw of 166-10.

DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1128 or send e-mail to