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Eric Peterson, Published July 30 2009

Roesler family excited about Laura representing USA

Laura Roesler was out of town when the box with her Team USA gear arrived at her south Fargo home.

Her sister, Emily, got the first peek at the apparel.

Laura couldn’t wait to see the contents.

“I was like, ‘OK, just take everything out,’ ” said Laura Roesler, who was in Minneapolis at the time.

“She sent me this picture. It took up like the whole living room this stuff, 22 different items. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It was really exciting, and I couldn’t wait to get home.”

The arrival of the gear, which included a Team USA suitcase, was a hit with the entire family.

“What’s cool is that Emily was excited about it and Kyle (Laura’s twin brother) was excited about it, so it was kind of fun,” said Karen Roesler, Laura’s mom. “We were all kind of excited about it.”

Laura will wear those new duds this weekend when she competes for the United States at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Port of Spain, Trinidad, off the coast of Venezuela.

Roesler, who will start her senior year at Fargo South this fall, is one of two 800-meter runners on the USA roster. Chanelle Price, who will be a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, is the other.

The Pan Am Junior Championships are open to athletes who will be 16, 17, 18 or 19 this calendar year. The games are for athletes from all countries in the Americas.

“I’m excited just for the experience to say, ‘Yeah, I traveled somewhere to run, overseas, kind of,’ ” Laura said with a smile.

Roesler is set to run in the 800 semifinals Saturday. The finals are scheduled for Sunday.

“I get to be with all the people like me from around the country, all the other high school kids like me and we get to run for Team USA,” Laura said. “It’s almost like this shows we’re at that level and some day maybe we’ll all be Team USA, the real Team USA, and be at that next step.”

Roesler made the USA team for the Pan Am Juniors by finishing second in the 800 meters at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., in June.

“I think she’s really excited to be a member of the USA team and wear the red, white and blue,” Karen said.

Lynn Roesler, Laura’s dad, also competed in the Pan Am Junior Games in 1977. He won a wrestling gold medal at 68 kilos (149 pounds).

“Now I kind of know what my mom and dad felt when I went,” Lynn said. “I can’t think of a better first international experience than this. I really thought that this would be a great first international experience for her.”

Lynn, Karen, Emily and Kyle will make the trip to Trinidad, and are slated to fly out today. Laura left for Trinidad on Tuesday.

“My goal is to make the finals,” Laura said. “It’s going to be real fun. It’s going to be even more enjoyable that my family gets to be there and experience this with me. That’s kind of special.”

Laura’s best time in the 800 is 2 minutes, 3.08 seconds, a time she ran last summer. She ran a 2:07.41 at the Junior Outdoors in Eugene.

Laura hasn’t decided on where she wants to go to college, and she can’t take any official visits until the school year starts.

“It’s certainly a step in her progression I guess, representing the U.S.,” Lynn said.

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

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