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Roe Wins NCAA 3,000-meters With Impulsive Break and Lucky Shoes

March 15, 2022

STILLWATER – This is one of those sports stories where there was all kinds of craziness going on, but in the end all of it ended well and everything seemed to happen the way it was supposed. Oklahoma State All-American cross country and track miler and distance specialist Taylor Roe came to Oklahoma State from Lake Stevens, Wash., because of coach and director of track and field and cross-country Dave Smith. Smith used to run against her father back in the day. While in Stillwater, Roe has steadily progressed in cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor too. This year she swept the distance medley relay, 3,000-meters, and the mile at the Big 12 Conference Championships in Ames, Iowa and was named the top female performer in the Big 12 for the indoor season.

That led to her being a one-woman team for the Cowgirls last weekend in Birmingham, Ala. in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. When she won the 3,000-meters in a time of 8:58.95, the Cowgirls had an 18th place finish in the team standings.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Roe celebrates at the NCAA.

“That with some 300 teams out there in the country,” Smith said. “When she crossed the line we finished 18th as a team.”

That she crossed the line first was maybe not amazing, but it is a darn good story. The plan that Smith had discussed with Roe was to start moving with a 1,000-meters to go and then go to the front when she thought she could run hard the rest of the race.

Roe was in the back half of the pack and waited a little later than a 1,000-meters to make her move. She took off at about 750-meters. She also jumped the plan and went straight to the front as in way out in front.

“Honestly, I was kind of getting boxed in and I was getting jostled. I was kind of annoyed with it and I guess that I thought now was the time. I was more surprised than anything,” Roe explained. “They had a video screen, and I was kind of in shock more than anything and I saw I had a lead. I was kind of running scared more than anything.”

“I thought she should have moved earlier, but at the end she came by me and I’m screaming at her, ‘They are gaining on you,’” Smith recollected.

Smith wasn’t sure she could keep the lead. He thought she was going to finish third.

“You know they were gaining on her, but in the final 50-meters or so, she started moving to a bigger lead,” Smith observed.

Roe did all this despite running in shoes that are a year old. She will train in different shoes than what she races in. This season she told me she got new shoes but discovered they were too big. She knew they were too big after the first time she raced in them, so she went back to the shoes she wore last season.

“She’s had the wrong shoes all year and all she has to do is go to Wes (Edwards - athletic department equipment supervisor), but somehow, we can’t get organized to get that done,” Smith said not necessarily laughing. “She shows up at nationals with the same shoes. Her dad has been telling me, ‘Taylor needs new shoes’ and I tell him that Taylor needs to go get them.”

Smith reminded her when he saw her lacing them up before the race in Birmingham.

“I said to her that you have the same wrong shoes and she said, ‘they worked so far,’” Smith added.

This shoe thing actually goes deeper and Roe told a story that was even more dramatic before she won the 3,000-meters at the Big 12 meet.

Big 12 Conference
Roe wins at the Big 12 in Ames, Iowa.

“The distance medley relay is Friday night at the conference meet, and I was taking off my spikes,” Roe explained. “I was trying to take them off and I couldn’t untie them. It just made a knot, and I was able to slip them off barely, but it made a knot. I thought I will fix that tomorrow and said, ‘I need to cool off and I’ll worry about that later.’ So, it’s 15 minutes until we are supposed to race and I pull my spikes out of my bag and there is still a knot in them.”

She asked a teammate to help and he couldn’t get the knot out. Then she got desperate and asked Coach Smith.

“I was panicking, and I tried to get him to untie them, and he couldn’t, so we cut the laces,” Roe continued with her track spikes drama. “The laces were cut too short, so I needed new shoelaces and there was a girl next to me that qualified and she loaned me shoelaces. I think we got them in about five minutes before it was time to run. It was put them in and then I was out on the track. I’m not the best about shoes.”

No, but thankfully she is talented enough to overcome all that.

Discussion from...

Roe Wins NCAA 3,000-meters With Impulsive Break and Lucky Shoes

532 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by eecowboy
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that's quite a story, thanks Robert.

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Great story RA !
Thank you.
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