ROESLER SEEKS STRONG FINISH
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
Titus Roesler can pinpoint the day when the fire that fuels his drive to run was lit. It was May 16, 2019, and the Freeman Academy/Marion Bearcats were running in Gayville at the Region 5B Track Meet. One year earlier, in 2018 as a freshman, Roesler had run the 3200 at the State Track Meet, but on that day two years ago, he fell short of a return-trip when he finished third in the region competition.
“That’s when it all started,” said Roesler, who graduated from Freeman Academy on Saturday and this weekend will compete in his final event as a high school runner — the State Track Meet. “I wanted to become a lot better, so I started a much more strategic running regimen — keeping a spreadsheet and logging my miles.
And just how many miles has it been? Roesler told The Courier this week that this week he will hit 5,000 miles since that region track meet of 2019. That discipline and effort resulted in a 10th place finish at the 2019 State Cross-Country Meet, a fourth-place finish last fall and now has him positioned for a strong finish in Rapid City this Friday and Saturday.
“All the running is really paying off,” said Roesler, who owns the third-best time in the field in both the 1600 and 3200, the fifth-best time in the 800 and anchors the Bearcats’ 4×800-meter relay, which takes the top time in all of Class B into the weekend competition.
“I’m really hoping we can finish first,” said Roesler, who runs on the relay team alongside teammates Quincy Blue, Malachi Myers and Thalen Schroeder. “We have the top seed time, but you can’t trust that. We know we need to show up and run hard because the target’s on our back.”
Roesler will run the open 3200 later on Friday and believes he can be right there with the top-two runners in the field — Warner’s Cody Larson and Bison’s Jonathan Burkhalter. The top three times in the race go 9:48.24, 9:53.66 and 9:54.31.
“And then the 1600 and 800 the next day, it’s just about going all out,” he says.
Roesler, who won’t run competitively when he goes to MIT for math but hopes to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon, will lead a contingent of Freeman Academy/Marion student-athletes that includes several others who have their eyes on a medal.
Thalen Schroeder, a home-schooled junior, is ranked second in the high jump with a season-best of 6-1 and sophomore Jada Koerner is third in the 3200, sixth in the 1600 and is part of a 4×400 relay team that goes into the state competition eighth. Other members of that team include Estelle Waltner, Sonora Myers and Zenovia Butler.
Koerner also anchors the sprint medley relay team that includes Alivea Weber, Butler and Waltner.
Also competing for the Bearcats this weekend are:
Dylan Johansen in the shot put and discus;
Butler in the 100;
Quincy Blue in the 800;
Tavin Schroeder in the 3200;
The boys sprint medley team that will be made up of a combination of Keaton Preheim, Gavin Haggerty, Jayden Lemons, Thalen Schroeder and Blue.