3000 meters to victory; Ruby Roberts headlines WSU Indoor Open


Ruby Roberts competes in the 3000 meter run during the Cougar Indoor Invitational, Feb. 1.

After a record-breaking weekend, the Washington State track and field teams return to Pullman on Friday to host the WSU Open II Indoor.

The two-day meet serves as a tune up for many WSU athletes who will participate in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships the following weekend in Seattle.

Head Coach Rick Sloan said certain individuals will compete to be on the Championship team, while most of the distance runners will rest after impressive performances in Seattle last weekend.

One such distance runner, senior Ruby Roberts, is coming off an exceptional weekend. She broke a 21-year record in the outdoor 3,000 meter with a time of 9 minutes and 15.79 seconds. Roberts said she didn’t even realize she had broken the record at the time and it was nice break it in Seattle in front of friends and family.

“It was really cool having their support,” Roberts said. “It was definitely a motivator.”

As a distance runner, Roberts said her races require a lot of mental strategy in order to make it through the race in good standing.

“I usually have a pace goal in mind for a specific point in the race.” Roberts said. “For this one it was at the mile mark around 4:55.”

She said that from there she has to be tough, trust in her training, and tell herself she can do it.

Roberts will take this weekend off before the indoor championships the following week, when she will again be running the 3,000-meter race.

She said that because it is a scored race, her goal is to place well.  She said she expects there will be good competition and will work to drop her time even more.

As far as the rest of the team goes, Roberts said that this is her favorite team in her time at WSU. She said the team has a lot of good young energy and is extremely motivated, excited and willing to work hard.

“The biggest thing is that they are mentally strong and have a healthy attitude toward running,” Roberts said. “Their mental maturity is really advanced for how new they are at running.

A senior in eligibility, Roberts said she hopes to continue running after college.

“This weekend was inspiring because there was a lot of Pac-12 alumni running for companies, and it was cool to see them doing that,” she said.