Roger Roth entered Msgr. McClancy HS in September 1959 from Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Corona and as a freshman was placed on the track team. It was a fledgling track team under a new coach, Harry Howell, who developed the team into one of the most competitive and respected track teams in New York City.
In his sophomore, junior and senior years he was the leading contributor to the 880 yard, sprint medley and mile relay teams whose times are still in the top 10 of the school, some 40 years later. In the history of McClancy, he is the only runner who went to the Penn Relays for four straight years, his freshman year as an alternate. As a sophomore, Roger anchored the 880 yard relay team of Jack O’Neal, Jackie Reilly and Carl Scarabelli in the school record of 1:32.5 seconds. In December 1961, the track team brought home to McClancy the first athletic team trophy the school had ever won in any sport. The team as a whole came in second in the Mount Saint Michael Polar Bear Meet. In March of 1962, at the CHSAA Indoor Championships, Roger set the school record for the 280 yard dash in a very fast 31.7 seconds and in December of 1962 at the Bishop Loughlin Games he set the 300 yard dash record at 34.6 seconds. In January 1963 at the Cardinal Hayes Meet at the 168th Street Armory, the 880 relay team of Kelly, Tassie, Roth and Campbell set the school indoor record at 1:33.9 seconds with Roger setting the school indoor 220 yard record in a blazing 22.9 seconds. In April 1963, at the St. Francis Prep Meet, his 880 yard relay team took first place in 1:32.7 seconds with Roger setting the outdoor 220 yard record of 22.3 seconds. In his junior year, with relay team members Jackie Reilly, Carl Scarabelli, and Ric Urbina and in his senior year, with relay team members Ric Urbina, Bobbie Tassie, and Ron Shepherd, the school mile relay records continually dropped. At the IC4A Indoor Championships in March 1963, the mile relay team of Tassie, Shepherd, Roth and Urbina set a new school record of 3:29.0 with Urbina setting a new indoor 440 record of 49.6 seconds. The following month in the Penn Relays, the same team set a new school record of 3:29.2 seconds for the outdoor mile relay event.
Whether running on wood, cinder, or dirt, Roger set records and made his mark on sprint teams and mile relay teams, as well as in individual events. As a freshman sprinter, he received a half scholarship to St. John’s University where Lou Carneseca dubbed him the “Jackson Heights Flash”.
Today Roger is a representative of the NYC United Federation of Teachers. He specializes in contract enforcement, due process, arbitration, political action, and lobbying. He has received numerous awards for his achievements in his field of Labor Relations, including one given to him in 2002 by the Catholic Teachers Association. His significant other is Scharleen, who is solely responsible for keeping him on the straight and narrow. He has two sons, Robert and Christopher, a daughter-in-law, Shannon and a beautiful granddaughter, Melanie Nicole.