Oklahoma State’s Taylor Roe, a Lake Stevens High School graduate, paces the field on her way to winning the indoor women’s 3,000 meter Division I national championship on March 12, 2022, in Birmingham, Alabama. (OSU Athletics)

Oklahoma State’s Taylor Roe, a Lake Stevens High School graduate, paces the field on her way to winning the indoor women’s 3,000 meter Division I national championship on March 12 in Birmingham, Alabama. (OSU Athletics)

Lake Stevens grad Roe claims Division I indoor national title

The Oklahoma State junior captured the women’s 3,000 meter national championship on Saturday in Alabama.

There was one emotion that dominated Taylor Roe’s thoughts as she crossed the finish line.


The Lake Stevens High School graduate couldn’t comprehend the fact that she was now a national champion.

Roe, now a junior at Oklahoma State University, claimed the national title in the women’s 3,000 meters at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama.

“The first thought was, ‘I can’t believe this actually worked out, I can’t believe I did it,’” Roe said via cell phone from Stillwater, Oklahoma. “I’m not sure if I said it out loud, but I couldn’t believe it worked.”

Roe, the reigning Herald Woman of the Year in Sports after placing second in the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Championship during the 2020-21 school year, bested a field of 16 runners in the indoor 3,000, finishing in a time of 8 minutes, 58.95 seconds to hold off North Carolina State’s Katelyn Tuohy for the title.

“I don’t know, it just feels weird,” Roe said about being a national champ. “It’s a strange feeling. Every day I’ve woken up it’s gotten more and more real, but it feels so strange.”

Roe spent the first half of the race hanging out at the back of the pack. At the midway point she surged toward the front, then with three-and-a-half laps remaining she broke away, starting her kick very early. Roe eventually built about a 10-meter lead, and although the competition closed on the final turn, Roe had one last gear and managed to hold off the pursuers for victory.

“The initial plan was to go to the back, hang out and stay relaxed, then at the halfway point start to look toward the front and see where people were at,” Roe said. “My coach (Dave Smith) told me to get to the front with about 1,000 meters to go, and at whatever point in the race I felt like I could, go hard and make it to the finish line at that effort. I’m not sure how far out I decided to go, but I just decided to go and never look back.”

Well, not exactly. Because the race was being televised, Roe was able to glance up at the video board and see where the competition was behind her.

“I thought when I made my move there would still be people going with me,” Roe said. “After about a lap I looked at the video screen and realized there was a gap, and honestly I was kind of shocked.

“Coming down the back stretch of that last lap I saw the video screen and they were closing hard, and it was terrifying,” Roe added. “I knew at that point they were going to catch me, so I had to be able to fight them off, and somehow in the last 50 I saved enough that I had an extra burst to hold off the charge.”

Roe’s title is her second All-American effort this school year, as she also placed fifth at cross country nationals in November.

Next up for Roe is the outdoor track and field season. She’s still deciding whether she’ll focus on the 1,500 or the 5,000.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas (31) leaps to the end zone for a touchdown as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Buddy Johnson (45) hits him during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Late fumble costs Seahawks in preseason opener with Steelers

Drew Lock led a pair of game-tying touchdown drive in the 2nd half but his turnover led to a game-winning drive.

Mukilteo native Kim Beard competes in the hammer throw at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. (Provided photo)
Mukilteo’s Beard wins national junior hammer throw title

The 14-year-old takes first and a host of other locals earn high finishes at the Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships.

Texas Rangers' Corey Seager, right, slides into second base on the force out causing Seattle Mariners second baseman Adam Frazier (26) to hold the throw to first base during the 8th inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Rangers' Adolis Garcia was safe at first and the Rangers won 7-4. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Mariners squander early lead against Rangers

Marco Gonzales allowed four runs in the fourth after Seattle took a 3-0 lead.

Background, in the foreground, surges past Windribbon to win the 2021 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Background will attempt to defend his title on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Emerald Downs)
Giddyup!: Background looks to defend Longacres Mile title

The 87th running of the event takes place Sunday at Emerald Downs.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jacob Eason passes during NFL football practice Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Eason stays positive while on outside of Seahawks QB battle

The former Lake Stevens star says he undestands the situation he’s in and “it’s about being a great teammate.”

Seattle Mariners' Carlos Santana (41) celebrates his double next to Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Mariners top Rangers, take over top AL wild-card spot

Seattle rookie star Julio Rodriguez collects two hits and two RBI in Seattle’s 6-2 win.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Gomez hits inside-the-park homer, AquaSox top Dust Devils

Everett slugs four home runs in all in a 6-1 win over Tri-City.

Brazilian skater Kelvin Hoefler jumps over the SLS sign during a Street League Skateboarding event. (Photo provided by SLS)
Ready to get radical: Top skateboarders coming to Everett

Street League Skateboarding is bringing some of the world’s top skateboarders to Angel of the Winds Arena this weekend.

Runners participate in the first annual Run For Your Life Suicide Awareness Run/Walk in 2021. (Photo provided by Austin Johnson)
Running for a cause: Suicide awareness event returns to Lake Stevens

The event is part of local ultra-runner Austin Johnson’s mission to provide support for people battling mental-health struggles.

Most Read