Roter Heads to State Cross Country Meet
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Seventh place at last year’s state cross country meet.
First at regionals this year.
Fastest girl in Ohio.
Currently third in the nation.
Another state meet run tomorrow.
Is there anything stopping junior Leah Roter?
Roter made history on Oct. 29 at the Boardman regional meet as the first BHS cross country runner to become regional champion. Roter not only qualified for the state meet by making the top sixteen but also ran an impressive time of 18:33 with her nearest competitor trailing 24 seconds behind.
Tomorrow, Roter will be heading down to Hebron, Ohio to race against around 150 of the best girls in the state.
“My goals are to place as high as I can in the top three, but of course I’m aiming to become state champion,” Roter said. “I’ve been putting down faster times than all of these girls…and I’ve worked all season for this.”
Cross country coach Jamie Lader is confident in Roter’s ability to perform well at states.
“I think she’s got a great opportunity to be state champion,” Lader said. “I think she’s got to go in there with a goal of winning, but also be happy.”
Roter may be slightly nervous about the upcoming meet; however, she acknowledges that she is still very confident and that the adrenaline will help her.
Roter also feels she has an advantage for the state meet because the course is relatively flat. In addition, she is familiar with the course since she has already run on it earlier in the season.
This will be Roter’s second year in a row at the state meet.
“It’s a really cool experience to get to go back down to states again,” Roter said. “The energy and support that’s at the state meet is just incredible, and it’s a really fun day overall.”
Her competition includes runners from the southern areas of Ohio as well as a few impressive runners from Chagrin Falls and Beaumont School. However, her current position as fastest girl in the state brings her confidence. She knows that she has beaten these girls before.
This past week, Roter has been maintaining her practice routine, but has made some changes to prepare for the state meet.
“We’ve been working on some intensities, doing some speed work, and trying to dial back the mileage a bit just to let her legs recover and get fresh for this upcoming Saturday,” Lader said.
Roter may seem like a machine when she runs so impressively, but bonding with her team is also important. The support from her teammates inspires her to work even harder.
“Even after the season’s over for the rest of the team, people still come to practice, and…they come and cheer me on [at meets],” Roter said.
The cross country team is like a family, and they are always supportive no matter what.
Roter’s teammates applaud her accomplishments. Sophomore cross country runner Jing-Jing Shen was very impressed with Roter’s season.
“She’s gone undefeated the entire season, which is…a remarkable feat,” Shen said.
Roter’s improvement and success is also admired by freshman Mira Wooley.
“I’m really proud of her,” Wooley said. “Running with her the last few months, we’ve seen her times improve…and that’s really exciting for the whole team,” Wooley said.
“Beachwood needs more recognition [for athletics] and Leah is the best candidate torepresent Beachwood,”senior runner Mukul Govande wrote in an email. “She is humble, yet awesome – her running is a testimony to that.”
On Friday afternoon before the cross country state tournament, the BHS band played and students clapped Leah out as she prepares to run in Hebron tomorrow.