LCP's TRIPP ROEMER SPRINTS ACROSS THE LINE AT THE FIRECRACKER 5K!
When it came down to the fastest high school runner at the 2023 Sportspectrum Firecracker 5K it was a classic matchup of shirts vs. skins. Parkway senior Gabriel Falting, sporting a blue tanktop, raced Loyola's Tripp Roemer, who like many of the hundreds participating in North Louisiana's biggest road race, ran shirtless.
Skins won as both Roemer and Falting crossed the finish at 6:17, but it took a massive kick from Roemer, who is becoming very familiar with races coming down to the wire. Roemer was the fifth overall male and Falting was the sixth overall male.
"We were coming down the big hill with half a mile left and I heard someone behind me," Falting said. "I looked back and it was Tripp. He said 'hey man, let's work together'. So me and him were right next to each other. We got to where the cones are-- about 100 or 200 meters. I was like 'hey man, let's give it all we got right now,' and we went and it was close right to the finish but he got me."
"It is so much fun to kick at the end," Roemer said. "See who has the best kick. A little competition, you know. With that energy, I feel like I could've run it a little faster throughout, but we'll take it. I love racing at the end. It's so much fun."
The difference between this morning's battle and the two prior photo finishes during the 2023 track and field season is that Roemer came out on top.
In March, at Ruston's "Hoss" Garrett Relays, Roemer closed on Bryar Madden in the meet's 800m. It took a little arm action and a successful dive and roll on the part of Madden to beat Roemer who closed hard on the Bearkat from lane two.
To end the season, Roemer and Calvary's Jackson Burney hooked up in an epic 1600m finish at the LHSAA Class 2A State Outdoor Meet. Despite Burney, who won his third consecutive 800m race, getting the better of Roemer in that race, Roemer was able to come back later in the meet to win his first LHSAA state title--a 3200m win (9:57.96).
While Roemer was presented with silver medals in both of those gutsy performances, he also left those venues with something more valuable...personal records. Roemer's time in the 800m at the "Hoss" Garrett Relays was 1:56.06. His runner-up performance at the LHSAA State Meet was 4:22.17.
When the high school season ended, Roemer looked for national competition to help him beat those times. It was close at both RunningLane Championships (4:22.52) and Nike Outdoor Nationals (1:56.88) but no cigar.
What's next for Roemer?
"Just keep training," Roemer said. "I really think what I could have improved on last year was my mentality going into training. If I put all of those pieces together, I think I can come away with a really good time to compete in those national meets."
While he is pleased with the progress he made on the state-level during his junior season. Roemer is far from satisfied as he heads into his senior year at Loyola.
"I feel like my progress this year was Louisiana bound," Roemer said. "But, I want to be known nationally. I want to compete with all of those guys. I want to get as close as I can to sub 15:00. If I get under that, 14:50 for the 5K, which will be hard, but I think I can build up to it...really compete and stick on to those guys who run those times."
And those fantastic finishes? Will there be a few more in his future?
"Definitely!," Roemer said. "I work on that a lot."