Terrell Robinson Jr. grew up with visions of controlling a basketball court like Isiah Thomas until he realized he might be better off following in the path of Carl Lewis.
Robinson recently completed his freshman season on the track and field team at Mount Tabor and has already posted some impressive results.
He won the 100 meters at the Piedmont Triad 3-A meet, finished second in the same event at the NCHSAA Class 3-A Midwest Regional, but had a disappointing end to his season after a false start in the Class 3-A state championship last weekend.
Robinson had won his qualifying heat in 10.79 seconds — the second fastest qualifying time of the day — but said he never felt comfortable in the starting blocks for the final.
“They changed blocks for the final to international blocks because they said the blocks we used for qualifying weren’t sticking,” Robinson said. “And I just couldn’t get comfortable. I should have put my hand up before the gun and I just forgot. When they called ‘set’, I kind of flinched and fell forward and that was it. It was pretty frustrating but also a learning experience. I’m already looking forward to indoor season.”
Track was something that Robinson was familiar with, but basketball was his first love. Both of his parents and his older brother, Charlton Rolle, who ran at Clemson and now coaches at Tiffin University in Ohio, all ran track.
“I got cut from my middle school basketball team in seventh grade, and I wanted to do the next sport that came around,” Robinson said. “That happened to be track and I wasn’t too bad at it, so I decided to stick with it. Things really started to take off for me between seventh and eighth grade That’s when I realized that track was probably my best ticket for college. Getting cut turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Robinson won the 60-yard dash at the AAU Junior Olympics when he was 14 and arrived at Mount Tabor with tempered expectations.
“I knew I had a lot to prove because I was a freshman, but I also was confident I could do it,” Robinson said.
Patrick Cromwell knew immediately he might have a special talent.
“He’s an exciting athlete to watch,” Cromwell said. “He made an immediate impact for us this year and he still has even more room to grow and improve. He has really taken to the sport the last two to three years and will only continue to get stronger and stronger.”
Robinson held down a 4.3 GPA this year taking mostly honors classes and is also in the chess club. When he isn’t on the track, he is also active in his church, First Waughtown Baptist.