The sophomore, who is the defending state champ in the 1,600 and 3,200, will add the 800 for this season’s state meet.
EVERETT — In less than two years of high school, Lake Stevens sophomore Taylor Roe has proved she is a supremely talented distance runner.
She’s also quickly proving she has the ambition to match the talent.
Roe came into the Class 4A Northwest district meet with the top times in the state this season in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. She not only won the district championship in all three events, but she set meet records in each event, helping the Vikings win the team championship.
“I couldn’t be happier with it,” Roe said. “I’m just so grateful to be able to come out here and do this and be able to run all three (events). It’s just amazing. I love my team, and I just can’t say enough about my coaches or my teammates for helping get here because without them this isn’t possible.”
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Roe will go for the state championship in all three events next week at the state meet at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma. Distance runners often compete in two of the distance events, but it’s rare for an athlete to try in all three. It’s even more rare for that they would have the success Roe has had so far.
“It is the first time that I recall a distance runner trying to do it, to be honest,” Lake Stevens distance coach Stuart Chaffee said. “They’ve made the meet three days, so the schedule has changed in the last couple of years, which kind of makes it possible. Back when the meet was two days it was really out of the question, because you just wouldn’t have enough time.”
Roe has won back-to-back state championships in cross country and won state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 at last year’s state meet. The decision to take a shot at the 800 this year was just made within the last week.
“She’s really trying to challenge herself,” Chaffee said. “Running the 800, it’s kind of ironic to say that she’s stepping out of her comfort zone when she’s got such a good time in it, but a month ago the 800 was a little out of her comfort zone. I’m really proud of her for being willing to take a shot.”
Roe said she first considered keeping her focus on the 1,600 and 3,200, but her competitive spirit kicked in and she decided to give the 800 a shot.
“I was kind of telling myself I’m just a sophomore and I should just focus on my two main events and just try to do good in those,” Roe said. “My coaches sat down and talked to me after the Wesco 800 when I ran my PR. I just said, ‘You know what? The sport is about challenging yourself and I’m just going to try to go for it.’ ”
Roe is a heavy favorite to repeat in both the 1,600 and 3,200 at state. Roe could win the 800 as well, but she can expect a bigger challenge in that event.
• The Jackson boys won the team championship, edging Lake Stevens by 16 points. Daniel Arias, a junior for the Timberwolves set a meet record in the 400 meters with a time of 48.95. The previous best of 45.97 was set by Mariner’s Marzell Jenkins in 2008. Jackson teammate Matthew Watkins also set a meet record in the 3,200 with a time of 9:07.13. The previous record was 9:08.71 set by Lake Stevens’ Joey Bywater in 2006.
• Lake Stevens senior Noah Wallace set a meet record in the 800 meters with a time of 1:52.61, beating the 1:55.15 set by Bywater in 2008.
• Mariner junior Suzy Pace set a meet record in the 300-meter hurdles, winning in a time of 45.43 seconds, breaking the record of Brandie Edwards of Lake Stevens (45.55) set in 2006.