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2013 Year in Review: Local athletes leave legacies this past year

Prior to graduating from East Ridge, Nate Roese broke Randy Melbourne’s 20-year-old Minnesota all-time state meet record in the 400-meter dash to win his second-straight state championship in the event. (Bulletin file photo)

In 2013 record books were re-written, milestones were set, streaks were broken and championships were won. Old coaches said goodbye, new coaches were brought in and some longtime leaders were honored.

There was a litany of ups and downs, highs and lows and tears of joy and sadness shed throughout the year. For many of the area’s sports faithful, 2013 will not soon be forgotten, and for a select few, moments from the past 365 days will last an entire lifetime.

Today we'll take a look back at some of the most notable events in area sports from 2013.

Roese breaks 20-year-old state record in 400-meter dash

Nate Roese re-wrote history and left a legacy at East Ridge High School in 2013.

Prior to graduating from East Ridge, Roese broke Randy Melbourne’s 20-year-old Minnesota all-time state meet record in the 400-meter dash to win his second-straight state championship in the event.

Roese, the defending state champion in the 400, sprinted to a time of 47.56 seconds in the state finals, edging Melbourne’s time of 47.59 when he ran for Minneapolis Washburn back in 1993.

“I have that top spot now,” Roese said after breaking the record. “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.”

Roese’s rise to the top of the 400-meter dash ranks was meteoric. As a freshman, he finished in 13th place in the 400 at the section meet. However, a year later, he went on to win the section championship and finish second in the state in the race, before winning his back-to-back state titles his junior and senior years.

Roese, who also earned all-state in the 200-meter dash and as part of the Raptors’ 1600-meter relay team, became the first two-time state champion at East Ridge High School. In addition, Roese was also an all-state cross country runner last year and the school’s Apollo Award winner.

In all, East Ridge has had four state champs in its four-year history.

At the state meet, Roese cut over a second off of his time in the preliminary race, 48.58, which had him entering the finals as the second seed.

Roese, who currently attends the University of Minnesota and runs track for the Gophers, ran a 47.79 — just .02 back of the record — to win his first state title last year after taking second place the year before. His goal since last year was to beat Melbourne’s time.

“I wanted that record so bad,” Roese said last year. “Even though I got it by just a little bit, it still counts. All the sacrifice has paid off. It was that couple hundredths of a second. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

- Patrick Johnson

Check back to the Bulletin's website for more of the area's top sports stories from 2013

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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