Roder's versatility makes him an asset
Because of injuries on the Washington boys’ track and field team, and because of the talent he possesses, senior Kyle Roder has run six different events for the Demons this season.
“He’s run the shuttle, 4x200, 4x100, open 100, open 200 and the 4x400,” Washington head coach Steve Roth said of Roder. “If we’re talking about versatility, he’s the man. We tried him in a lot of things, and he never balked. He did them all very well.”
After Alex Coker, the Demons’ anchor in the 4x100 relay, went down with a hip flexor injury this season, Roder began running the event and he was able to compete at the Drake Relays in the race.
“The highlight of this year was going to Drake,” Roder said. “I’d never ran there before. This was the first year I’d ran the 4x100 for most of the season since middle school. It was exciting.”
While Roth put Roder in a number of different races this season, he was a mainstay in Washington’s 4x200 relay. The quartet of Carl Sivels, Gage Redlinger, Roder and Coker ran a season-best time of 1:34.13 at the Class 3A state qualifying meet in Mt. Pleasant last Thursday, but finished third and then had to wait and see if its time was good enough to qualify for the state meet.
“It was really nerve-racking,” Roder said, “but I kind of knew we’d get in. I just had a feeling we would.”
Roder should know. He’s been to state all four years of his high school track and field career. And, of course, he’s been to state in a couple of different events. He competed at state in the 4x400 relay as a freshman and a sophomore, and he went to state in the 4x200 relay last season.
“Some kids are lucky to go [to state] once, and I’ve been lucky enough to go all four years,” Roder said. “It feels really good.”
Roder feels Washington’s 4x200 relay team can still lower its time. The quartet returns three of the four runners that recorded a time of 1:32.73 at the state meet last year.
Roder’s track and field career will come to an end this weekend on Drake University’s blue oval. Roder, the son of Mike and Gail Roder, plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa this fall.
“I’m not sad about [my track career coming to an end],” Roder said. “I’m happy [I’ve gone to state] all four years. I guess there’s not much to be sad about.”
The Demons had a young squad this season, and Roder will be the only Washington senior competing at the state track meet this weekend.
“Being the only senior who’s running [at state], he’s an MVP candidate for us,” Roth said of Roder. “He’s been able to run a lot of things for us.”