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Kelly To Blacksburg

Randolph Senior To Run At Virginia Tech In Fall

Roan Kelly signs his national letter of intent to compete in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field for Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Pictured, seated, from left, are: Kaine Kelly, Roan’s father; Rhys Kelly, Roan’s brother; Roan Kelly; and Tracy Kelly, Roan’s mother. Standing are: Shawn Huntington, athletic director, and Jason Halpainy, high school principal. Submitted photo

Roan Kelly, who has competed in track and cross country for Randolph High School at the varsity level since seventh grade, will be taking his talents to Blacksburg, Virginia to compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for Virginia Tech this fall.

Over the past few years, Roan has distinguished himself as one of the top runners and athletes in Section VI history. Last year, he won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division II as well as the Federation championship in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:11.73. From there, he went to the New Balance Nationals in Philadelphia.

That capped a season of championship moments that included winning the mile in the prestigious Glenn D. Loucks Games in 4:14.09. He won the Section VI Class D title in the 800 meters (2:11.61) and the 1,600 meters (4:45.10) and the 1,600 meters at the state qualifier (4:27.46). That was just in outdoor track.

Roan also was a member of Randolph’s Class C state championship basketball team during the indoor track season and intends to compete in both sports again this winter. During the indoor season, Roan won the 1,000 meters and 1,600 meters at the Section VI team championships, the 1,600 meters at the Section VI State Qualifier, and placed fifth for Division II and seventh overall in the NYSPHSAA state championship 1,600 meters, the last of which was held at Ocean Breeze Track & Field in Staten Island, the morning after Roan and the Randolph Cardinals won the Section VI Class C basketball championship at Jamestown Community College.

Running in the ACC, against the best of the best in the NCAA, is a unique opportunity. There is not a finer conference in the nation for distance running. There is no better program than Virginia Tech for developing talent. The results they have produced on the track show they are the No. 1 program in the nation for consistently developing their athletes.

Randolph’s Roan Kelly won the 1,600-meter title at last spring’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships. P-J file photo

The Hokies have won 21 ACC team championships (including the 2021, 2022, and 2023 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships), had 43 top-25 NCAA team finishes, and had 13 top-10 NCAA finishes in cross country and track between the men and the women since 2005. They have also had 94 All-American honors for their distance runners since 2015!

One of the primary reasons behind Roan’s decision is the return of Coach Ben Thomas to head the men’s and women’s track and cross country programs. Thomas returned to his alma mater in July 2023 as the head track and field coach for the Hokies. Thomas spent 2018-22 as an associate head coach at the University of Oregon, leading its cross country and distance programs. Thomas is a three-time USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year, having most recently won back-to-back indoor honors for the Ducks’ incredible success during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He earned his first national award during his time at Virginia Tech following the 2017 season, becoming the first ACC assistant to ever win the award. Thomas is also a 10-time USTFCCCA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year, including four selections at Oregon.

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