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Fresh off Summit League meet, NDSU runner wins 5K Hero Run

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FARGO—It's not easy crossing the finish line first in Division I track and field, so when North Dakota State sophomore Camron Roehl turned the corner at the Fargodome parking lot on Friday night, May 19, in front of the pack, he enjoyed the moment.

He won the Fargo Marathon's 5K Hero Run with a wire-to-wire performance over the 3.1-mile course and finished with a time of 14 minutes, 58 seconds.

"There's a lot of good competition in the Summit League so I didn't win all that often," Roehl said. "Any win is a good win."

Last week, Roehl took fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and fifth in the 1,500 at the Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Ellig Sports Complex. Those distances are more in his wheelhouse, he said, so the 5K represented something a little bit out of his element.

His first concern was starting too fast, which he did.

"I went out hard and tried to maintain," he said. "I got a little nervous there but I just said trust my training and I'll be fine. Especially in that first half mile, I got real jittery."

Not able to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries and thus his season had ended, he entered the Fargo 5K in part to take advantage of being in peak shape. His 1,500 time of 3:54.40 was a personal record.

College runners usually don't get much of a chance to enter citizen's races because of their intense collegiate schedule, so Roehl was happy it worked out.

"I just love racing," he said.

He said he felt other runners on his tail for most of the route and didn't pull away until the final stretch. Branden Scheel, a sophomore on the NDSU cross country team, finished second at 15:59.

Amber Blackhurst won the women's division in 17:54.