East Ridge track & field: Roese breaks 20-year-old state record in 400
Randy Melbourne, please move over.
East Ridge senior Nate Roese broke Melbourne's 20-year-old Minnesota all-time record in the 400-meter dash to win a second state championship in the event at the Class AA state track and field meet, held Saturday, June 8, at Hamline University in St. Paul.
Roese, the defending state champion in the 400, sprinted to a time of 47.56 seconds in the finals, edging Melbourne's time of 47.59 when he ran for Minneapolis Washburn back in 1993.
With the record, Roese earned the right to call himself the fastest high school 400-meter runner in state history.
"I have that top spot now," Roese said. "I think it'll have to sink in for a day or two before I really realize it. All I really know is that I beat a number and it feels really good. But, I'm really happy. It was a great race."
East Ridge head coach Shannon Rainey said he ran against Melbourne in high school.
"That shows my age a little bit, but I really remember him - he was this big Jamaican guy, kind of cocky but a really nice guy," Rainey said. "For that record to stand for 20 years and then to have Nate take that down is just huge. Science usually catches up every five years or so. That was a big, big feat by Nate. I'm so proud of him."
Roese, who will attend the University of Minnesota next year and run track for the Gophers, ran a 47.79 to win his first state title last year after taking second place the year before.
Roese, who was also an All-State cross country runner this past fall, also finished All-State - reserved for the top eight finishers in each event - in the 200-yard dash and in the boys 1600-meter relay. Roese finished in the top eight in the 200 for a second straight year, taking eighth place with a time of 22.56 seconds. After a short break, Roese ran the anchor leg of the Raptors' 4x400 relay, helping East Ridge take third place with a time of 3:19.72. Others on the relay included juniors Allan Ndovu, Bradley Simonson and August Ollrich. Ollrich also earned All-State as an individual in the 400, taking sixth place with a time of 49.37.
"Auggie has been with me this whole season and has improved so much," Roese said. "I'm so proud of him. He pushed me every day in practice and I wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for him."
See the full story and additional photos in the Bulletin on June 12