SYLVANIA – It’s been a long, award-filled ride for Cornelius Roberts, and one more trip to the track and field championships was a great way to end and even better career.
Roberts – along with eight of his Screven County teammates – traveled to Jefferson last weekend for the GHSA state championships and the Gamecocks’ star sprinter and jumper came through with another big performance.
“I was pretty happy with how I did,” said Roberts. “I thought I did pretty well, but I had a couple of problems with my hamstrings. I’ve been working through some injuries all season, but I’m still happy to have finished second.”
Fighting a pair of gimpy legs, Roberts was forced out of competition in the triple jump and the 4x400 relay, but still had enough in the tank for a second place overall finish in the high jump (6-feet, 4-inches) and in the long jump (22-feet, 7.5-inches).
“I thought that I could have done better,” said Roberts. “I think those injuries really slowed me down. I think that I could have improved on some of my personal bests this year if I wasn’t trying to work through the injuries, but I can’t complain.”
Roberts wasn’t the only Gamecock to enjoy success this season.
Screven put forth good efforts throughout the year and had a great showing at the Region 3-AA meet. In addition to Roberts’ efforts, the Gamecocks captured four more individual region championships to stay at the top of the team standings before Laney edged ahead at the end.
“I was very happy with how our team did,” said Roberts. “We definitely improved a lot from last year. We only sent five or six guys to state last season, but we got more this year. We were really competitive at the region meet and only missed out on the team championship by a few points.”
Roberts was a big part of that team showing, earning individual high-point honors with region titles in the long jump, high jump and triple jump, and a second place finish as a member of the Gamecocks’ 4x400 relay team.
While his days on the Screven track have come to an end, Roberts is far from finished competing.
His consistently good times and distances have proven Roberts’ worth during his high school career, and his versatility as both a sprinter and a jumper makes him even more enticing to colleges.
“The schools that I’ve talked to like that I do so many events,” said Roberts. “They might see me more as a relay runner or a long jumper, but the fact that I have experience in a lot of things helps. If you can put up good numbers in a bunch of events, that’s a lot of points that you can win for your team.”
A number of schools offered scholarships to Roberts, but he will instead enroll in a prep school for one more year in hopes of improving his grades and SAT scores so that he can have more say in which college he can attend.
“I’m looking forward to improving my SAT scores next year,” said Roberts. “That’s all that is keeping me from going to a Division I school. I’ll still be working out and playing basketball to stay in shape, but I’ll also be working hard at hitting the books. This is a big goal for me. I really want to make it to that next level, so I’ll be doing everything I can in the weight room, on the track, or in the classroom to make it happen.”
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.