Joco Sports

Former track star now happy to be coaching cross country

Updated: 2013-09-18T16:43:42Z

By CHARLES REDFIELD

Special to The Star

When Laura Roxberg was in the seventh grade at Oxford Middle School, she decided to go out for the track team.

“I joined the track team because that is what everyone did,” she said. “It’s more social than anything else.”

That was her first exposure to track and cross country. And now a decade later, Roxberg is a first-year cross country coach and teacher at Blue Valley North.

Roxberg has made quite a name for herself in track and cross country. She broke eight school records at Oxford Middle School and she joined a club track team, where she competed on a national level. Roxberg moved on to BV Northwest, where she became the only Kansas Class 6A girl to win four consecutive state individual cross country titles.

“My greatest accomplishment would be in leading my team with my sister Anna to the 6A state title my senior year,” she said.

In track, she captured seven individual state championships. There were four in the 1,600 meters and three in the 800 meters. Her best high school time in the 1,600 was 4:54.

Roxberg went on to attend college at Missouri.

“After all my official visits, I choose Missouri because it was the best overall fit,” she said. “I really connected with the coaches and the other girls on the team. It was a great experience, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

During her career in Columbia, she was a Big 12 champion in both the mile and 1,500 meters.

“I hold the Missouri school records in both the mile (4:34) and 1,500 (4:13),” she said. “This past year, I qualified for the U.S. Track and Field Championships and ran the seventh-fastest mile in the NCAA.”

Why did she decide to go into teaching?

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “Being a Blue Valley student, I was lucky in having so many amazing teachers who influenced me. I’ve always loved math and problem-solving.”

Her career in running got her into coaching.

“Running has been such a large part of my life that I couldn’t imagine not going to practice every day,” she said. “I’m so excited to have the opportunity to work with these athletes and instill a love of running that my coaches have given me.”

She will get a chance to compete against her alma mater in both cross country and track.

“It might be a little strange at first, but I’m just excited to be back in the Blue Valley family.”

BV North athletic director Mickey Masterson has been impressed with Roxberg.

“I have been impressed with the initiative, organization and leadership that Laura has brought to the BV North community as the new head cross country coach and math teacher,” he said. “Laura’s energy in and out of the classroom has been incredible.”

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