Eagle's Landing rising sophomore Bailey Roth won a national champion on Friday before returning home to set two state records in the 1,500 and 3,000-meters.
By Derrick Mahone
Within a 72-hour span, Eagle's Landing rising sophomore Bailey Roth linked his name among the elite distance runners in the state and nation.
Roth went from winning a national championship to setting two state records on very little rest.
Last Friday, Roth won the 1,500-meters at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. Immediately after placing third in the 3,000 event, Roth and his family made the six-hour trek back to McDonough.
The family arrived in time to head straight to Fayette County where Roth was competing in the USA Track and Field Georgia Association State Championship.
Little rest didn't seem to bother Roth as he set in the 3,000 with a time of eight minutes, 58.03 seconds to eclipse the old mark of 9:12. He followed that with a time of 4:05.6 in the 1,500 to set a new mark in that event.
"I got as much sleep as you can in a car," he said. "I was expecting to be real tired. Overall, I felt I ran a good race."
Roth, who comes from a family of runners, will train for the next week and a half before heading to the USA Youth Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Myrtle Beach. That meet runs from June 28-July 3 at Doug Shaw Stadium.
If they get back in time, Roth said he might run in the annual Peachtree Road Race.
Eagle's Landing coach Claud Spinks said his talented runner has a good shot at doing well in South Carolina. Roth, who transferred from Grady High in Atlanta at the start of last school year, missed all of the cross country season because of illness.
Spinks said Roth is just now back into shape, which is showing on the track.
"I wouldn't say I was surprised at how well he has done," Spinks said. "He wasn't in the best of shape after missing cross country. He has trained well and continues to progress. He has got a great shot at winning."
This past spring, Roth finished sixth in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200 at the Class AAA meet, which the Golden Eagles finished fourth overall as a team.
When he returns from Myrtle Beach, Spinks said Roth will take some time off before beginning training for the upcoming cross country season. Spinks said he might not participate in his first cross country meet until a month into the season.
"I'm excited about the season," Roth said. "The training I'm doing now will definitely help me. This has been an inspiration to me. I can definitely see where I'm at in terms of running."
Since the high school championship, Roth ran in a few meets at Emory University while training for these big meets. His father, Brian, is a former runner at the University of Nebraska, and later formed a track club - Trail Monkey - as a fun way of introducing running to his children.
All, except one of Roth's seven siblings run.
"We got into it for the fun of it," the younger Roth said. "It a fun family activity for us."