Track standout shines
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
Her string of 17 NCAA All-American mentions at Oregon, a running powerhouse, followed 20 individual track championships in North Dakota Class A competition for Fargo South. She is likely North Dakota’s most accomplished female track star — and undoubtedly an inspiring example of what someone can achieve in her chosen field of endeavor through a combination of talent, fierce determination and disciplined hard work.
Her mettle was evident at a young age, when she first showed up at a starting line. “Laura was gritty and talented,” said Dave Tack, former Fargo South cross-country coach, recalling seeing her run as a sixth-grader. “You could see that she had that specialness.” A year later, she took second in the Class A girls cross-country, her third varsity event. The breadth and versatility of her talent was fully on display in the eighth grade, with an unprecedented showing at Bismarck’s Community Bowl, where she captured first on a hot, humid day in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters, events she ran within a span of 2 1/2 hours. What a sports writer later would call “The Legend of Laura” had been born. “She has this almost mythical status,” Tack said.
Coach Tack’s admiring words recently were echoed by Robert Johnson, Oregon head track coach. “She’s definitely left a huge legacy,” he said of Roesler after her scorching performance in the 800. “She’s been built for this. She’s just a phenomenal person and comes from a phenomenal family.”
What comes next for an athlete who has little left to prove, to others if not to herself? She will compete at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships later this month in Sacramento, California, and later hopes to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. “That’s where I want to be in a couple of years,” she recently told Eric Peterson, Forum sports writer. “I still have a lot of big decisions to make.” And, we have no doubt, a lot of big achievements awaiting her, regardless of which lane in life’s racetrack she picks. We join her family and friends in saluting her achievements.