Grand Forks Central standout Quinn Roehl's state meet marks end of an era for the Knights

Central track and field coach Sean Allan has had five Roehl siblings across the last 14 consecutive years.

Grand Forks Central’s Quinn Roehl finishes third in the North Dakota Class A Boys State Cross Country Meet on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, north of Jamestown.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks Central boys track and field coach Sean Allan still remembers the first time he met Quinn Roehl.

Quinn came to a Central summer workout to see his older brother Camron.

"He was maybe 1 years old and the first words I heard him say were 'Quinn run, Quinn run,'" Allan said. "I've never forgotten that. I've watched him grow up."

Roehl enters this weekend's North Dakota state Class A track and field meet in Bismarck ranked No. 2 in the state in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Not only is the state meet the last hurrah for Quinn, but it's the end of an era of sorts for the Knights.

For the last 14 straight seasons, Allan has coached one of five Roehl siblings. Quinn is the youngest of Warren and Markay's five children. The family also has a 7-year-old adopted younger brother.


Allan has coached Camron, Grace, Alexis, Sophia and Quinn across the last 14 years.

"They were just all really good hard-workers," Allan said. "You never had to tell them anything more than once. They were all very dedicated to be the best they can be. I've known he and his family his whole life. It's going to be bittersweet to see him and his family be done with our school."

Although his parents were both high school track athletes, Quinn credits his brother Camron, who later ran at North Dakota State and is now 27, for starting the Roehl running tradition.

Alexis Roehl, celebrates as she crosses the finish line and passing Central coach Sean Allan. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
Grand Forks Central's Alexis Roehl passes by Knights coach Sean Allan during a 2017 track meet in Grand Forks. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald

"I think Camron is the one who discovered running," Quinn said. "Coach Allan put together these fun days in University Park over the summer to recruit people and Camron went to one of those and it caught on. He found out he was good, then Grace did it and it became a family thing. It's something we all really enjoy. You can be good at something, but if it's not enjoyable for you, you're going to have difficulty continuing on. Each one of my siblings would tell you they love running and they love the sport."

Quinn credits Allan for the Roehl family success, as well as his parents.

"A big aspect of it is work ethic," he said. "I think our parents did a really good job teaching us, no matter what we do, do it to the best of our ability to glorify God and that's one characteristic that helps us in athletics or other endeavors ... not cutting corners and just working hard."

Roehl has a couple of motivations at the state meet.

One, Roehl wants to be a state champion — a distinction that has eluded his siblings. Roehl was third in the 800 at last year's state meet and third in state cross country.


"I can say for the longest time, even when I started track and cross country, I want to be a state champion one day," Roehl said. "I told myself this year, I don't care if it's cross country or track or what event, that's been one of my biggest goals — to finally come away with a state title and come out on top."

Roehl's times, however, will also be important to him.

Quinn, who's signed to run at North Dakota State for track and field, holds the school record in the 800 and mile. Camron came within a second of breaking the Central school record in the 3,200, which is held by Jim Herberg, who ran 9 minutes, 22.74 seconds in the 3,200 in 1980. Quinn's best official time this year is 9:27 but after the cross country season, Quinn ran a 9:22.

"I know I can do it; it's just a matter of getting the right mindset and competition and going out there and getting it," Quinn said. "I've got a couple of things on my checklist I'd like to get checked off. I'd like to somewhat avenge that record for my brother."

Camron Roehl wins the men’s Sanford Fargo Marathon 5k on Friday, May 17, 2019, at the Fargodome.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Quinn, however, isn't putting too much pressure on himself ahead of the state meet.

"You can't place all your hopes and dreams and expectations on one race," Roehl said. "There's so much more to life than racing, so I need to remind myself of that. If things don't go my way this weekend, there are bigger and more important things to life out there, but if I give it my best and the leave the state meet giving everything I had, I think that's a pretty successful way to go out."

Allan stressed to Quinn this week about staying in the moment.

"All three races will be fun to watch," Allan said. "I told him we've been working together for six years. This is the chance to show off and go enjoy it. That's what we're stressing."


Area N.D. Class A Top 8 state rankings

Class A boys
6. Caleb Severson, GF Red River, :10.78

Class A girls
3. Jocelyn Schiller, GF Red River, :58.22

Class A boys
2. Quinn Roehl, GF Central, 1:55.01
Class A girls
1. Lauren Dosch, GF Red River, 2:12.95; 5. Morgan Hartze, GF Red River 2:19.94; 7. Jocelyn Schiller, GF Red River, 2:20.11

Class A boys
2. Quinn Roehl, GF Central, 4:14.22; 4. Elijah Dafoe, GF Red River, 4:22.32; 5. Brady Goss, Devils Lake, 4:23.21

Class A boys
2. Quinn Roehl, GF Central, 9:27.73; 7. Brady Goss, Devils Lake, 9:44.17
Class A girls
3. Lauren Dosch, GF Red River, 11:36.35

100/110 hurdles
Class A boys
5. Lukas Heydt, GF Red River, :15.04; 6. Carter Byron, GF Red River, :15.21

300 hurdles
Class A boys
6. Lukas Heydt, GF Red RIver, :40.05
Class A girls
6. Sophie Brakke, GF Red River, :47.16

4x100 relay
Class A boys
8. GF Red River :43.26


4x400 relay
Class A boys
7. GF Red River 3:28.49
Class A girls
1. GF Red River 4:00.35

4x800 relay
Class A boys
3. GF Red River 8:09.52
Class A girls
1. GF Red River 9:27.01

Shot put
Class A boys
8. Zac Kuznia, GF Central, 51-5.5

Class A boys
1. Logan Arason, GF Red River, 186-0; 7. Quinn Nelson, GF Red River, 156-4; 8. Ethan Thomas, GF Central, 154-6

Class A boys
1. Logan Arason, GF Red River, 189-2; 3. Quinn Nelson, GF Red River, 179-0; 5. Colton Schneider, Devils Lake, 173-9
Class A girls
1. Ella Weippert, GF Red River, 143-5

Long jump
Class A girls
2. Sophie Brakke, GF Red River, 17-5.5

Triple jump
Class A boys
3. Isaiah Gaye, GF Red River, 44-7
Class A girls
2. Bryn Larson, GF Red River, 37-3; 4. Sophie Brakke, GF Red River, 37-0

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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