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June 9, 2014

Robinson's title caps stellar senior year





The ultimate goal of breaking a state record wasn't accomplished, but Gelen Robinson hardly can complain about the way his high school athletic career ended Saturday.

After sparking the Lake Central football team to its first sectional championship since 1999 in the fall and going undefeated to an individual wrestling state title in the winter, Robinson wrapped the spring with a state championship in the discus.

"I'm glad that I got to end my high school career on a good note, winning a state championship," Robinson said Monday. "Coming off three state championships throughout my whole high school career, I hope I made my school proud. I know some kids will come up next year and replace me. So I'm glad I got a chance to be a good athlete at Lake Central."

After a pair of second-place finishes at the state track meet as a junior, Robinson was eyeing a pair of championships as a senior. The discus, his best event, was the best chance, but he also felt confident he could compete in the shot put.

The discus was up first, and he started strongly, whipping a throw of 196-4 on his first one.

That helped him gain some immediate confidence.

"Coming into state, my throw and the guy who was second in the state, we were actually within a couple feet of the distances that were measured at regionals. But I felt pretty confident," Robinson said. "I thought if I got into the 190s, 200 area early, then I would be pretty secure."

Robinson's third throw of 197-7 was his farthest, and ultimately about 11 feet better than the runner-up. But it was still considerably short of the state record of 217-1. Robinson said his best throw in a meet was 200-4, last year, but he'd bested the state record during practices, so he thought he had a shot at the mark. Still, Robinson said he wasn't disappointed.

"I'm pretty happy I still got the state championship," he said. "It's good to shoot for those goals, (though so) when you accomplish them, it just makes it even better."

Robinson knew getting a pair of first-place finishes could be difficult, considering the quality of the field in the shot put. But his fifth throw sailed 58-2, and that ended up good enough for third place.

"I wasn't satisfied with getting third place obviously, but I felt like I performed well. That was my furthest throw of the season down at state, and that's where you want to have your best throws," he said. "The competition this year was great in shot. I think there were a couple more kids coming off junior season who really gained a lot of distance in shot put."

The future Boilermaker is making the trip to campus this week and will start summer school and begin football workouts next week.

Robinson said he's still entertaining the idea of throwing at Purdue - "it's a high possibility" - but it'll depend on how quickly he gets adjusted to college and playing football.

"I am definitely going to miss my high school throwing days and career because it's a little more carefree, high school than college," he said.

Robinson wasn't the only future Boilermaker who left high school as a champion. Receiver Trae Hart, a senior at First Baptist in Texas, clocked an 11.14 to win the 100 at the 3A TAPPS State Track & Field Championships.

Offensive lineman Bearooz Yacoobi finished 10th in the shot put and 14th discus at the Michigan High School Athletic Association state meet.




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