Sophomore Leah Roter Advances to State Cross Country Meet


Photo by Bradford Douglas.

This Saturday at 11 am, sophomore Leah Roter is making Bison history, as she will be the school’s first girls cross country runner in 18 years to qualify for the state meet.

Roter has accomplished quite a bit on her path to Columbus.

“My records are for the 5k in cross country which [I ran] in 18:44, the mile, which [I ran in] 5:21, and the 2 mile which [I ran in] 11:38,” Roter said.

To put these times into perspective, a quality state meet-worthy 5k time in Ohio is usually from the mid 18’s to the low 19’s, head coach Jamie Lader explained. Roter’s time in districts was 19:19, where she finished 3rd behind Hannah Markel, a senior from Gilmour who ran 19:13 and Ashley Rulison, a freshman from Beaumont who ran 19:07.

According to Lader, Roter has the intangibles needed to make it to a higher level in the sport.

“She is a fierce competitor,” he said. “When that gun goes off, she goes into another gear. She goes from sweet, nice little Leah whom everyone likes… to competitive as heck.”

Lader has seen Roter grow as a runner.

I’m really proud of her. She’s a hard worker, reliable and she’s a testament to the fact that when you work hard good things will happen.”

— Coach Jamie Lader

“I am most proud of the overall progress she has made since last year,” he said. “Last year she didn’t make it out of districts, and this year she made it to states; so that’s huge.”

While Roter had a tough time during the regional meet, she is looking to come back strong at states.

“For regionals, I was having a bit of an off day,” she said. “The course was hard, and my legs got very tight.”

Nevertheless, she narrowly qualified.

“If one of my weakest races got me into states, I am really excited [to see] how I am going to perform this Saturday,” she said.

Coach Lader is optimistic as well.

“I’m hoping for a top 20 finish,” he said. “I think that would be a reasonable goal for her to set, and I am really excited to see how she does.”

“I’m really proud of her,” he added. “She’s a hard worker, reliable and she’s a testament to the fact that when you work hard good things will happen.”

“I am looking forward to competing with the best people in the state and to place as high as I can,” Roter said. “Just making it this far is incredible, and I am looking forward to putting in everything I’ve worked for onto the course.”