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Eric Peterson, Published May 21 2009

Dragons have become good fit for Roemer

While Ashley Roemer is a track standout, wrestling is what attracted Roemer to Minnesota State Moorhead.

From Maple Lake, Minn., Roemer started her college track career at Bemidji State (Minn.) University.

After one season at BSU, she transferred to MSUM because her husband wanted to wrestle. Bemidji State didn’t offer wrestling.

“He kind of missed that part of his life,” said Roemer, who got married after her freshman year in college. “For the two of us, it made sense.”

After having to sit out a year after she transferred, Roemer has been a fixture on the Dragons women’s track team the least three seasons. She will compete in the high jump at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track Championships, which start today in San Angelo, Texas.

Roemer placed third in the high jump at nationals last season, clearing 5 feet, 9¼ inches.

“I’m really, really happy we did make that change because I’ve really enjoyed my time here,” Roemer said. “It worked out really well.”

Roemer – also on the Dragons cross country team – qualified for indoor nationals as a sophomore, junior and senior for the Dragons. She has made it to the outdoor nationals the last two seasons.

Roemer has a hand in nine school indoor and outdoor school records, including four individual marks. She is the school indoor record holder in the 800 meters and pentathlon and holds outdoor marks in the heptathlon and high jump.

“She’s really done a lot for us. She has been a great role model,” MSUM head track coach Keith Barnier said. “She’s left footprints in this program with everyone she has come in contact with.”

Roemer wasn’t sure she wanted to go out for track and field when she went to Bemidji State. However, she decided to go out for track because her cousin was on the team. Roemer had a successful season and made it to outdoor nationals in the high jump.

Roemer had scheduled her wedding for the same weekend as nationals, not expecting that she would advance that far.

“Two really big things happening in my life and obviously getting married was more important,” she said.

Missing that national meet made Roemer more determined to succeed when she transferred to MSUM.

“I was ready to come back and prove that I could do it again and actually go to the meet,” Roemer said.

Roemer and fellow senior Jennifer Hensel are the two Dragons who qualified for outdoor nationals.

Hensel, who is the two-time defending outdoor national champion in the pole vault, is impressed with Roemer’s drive.

“She’s determined,” Hensel said. “Whether it’s with school or whether it’s track or being a friend, she always has her goals and she will do her best to reach them.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com