A measure of a top-notch athlete is to continue to exceed previous performances.
At last year's Class 2A state track and field meet, Brainerd's Jason Roberts long jumped 20 feet, 3 3/4 inches.
In the first indoor meet this season the Warrior senior leaped 20-11 in the Husky Classic at St. Cloud State, tying for fifth place in school history.
"It was kind of surprising," Roberts said. "You don't expect to match last year's best on your first jump of the year. You expect it to take a while. I've got fresh legs right now, and I'm stronger this year than last year. It was a combination of that."
Roberts was on the winning 4x400 relay at the Husky Classic. A week later he won the long jump at the Central Lakes Conference indoor at SCSU.
Jason Roberts profile
Sport -- Track and field
Events -- Long jump, 200 dash, 4x200 and 4x400 relays
Year -- Senior
Age -- 18
Height -- 5-foot-7
Weight -- 145 pounds
Other sports -- Soccer, hockey
Grade-point average -- 3.535
Memorable sports achievement -- Qualifying for state in long jump in 2002
Favorite class -- Shakespeare
Favorite movie -- "The Count of Monte Cristo"
Hobbies -- Golf, water sports
Future plans -- Attend St. Olaf, play soccer
Parents -- Rick and Deb Roberts
"Actually, I was going for the conference indoor record (21-1) but my steps were off," Roberts said. "I think the first one I scratched. The second one I was way behind the board but I got the mark (19-10). On the third one I scratched by a couple inches. That one was over 21 feet.
"It was a positive, knowing I can jump that far. It's a matter of getting on and getting my steps correct."
Also at the conference indoor, Roberts was second in the 400-meter dash and was on the runner-up 4x400 relay.
In Tuesday's first outdoor meet, against Alexandria and Little Falls, Roberts won the long jump at 20-4 1/4 and ran on the winning 4x200 relay.
"The reason for his success is he's very explosive off the board," said assistant Kris Smith, who coaches Warrior jumpers. "He's very fast down the runway. He's a kid who has studied the event. A lot of people think it's easy to just run and jump but there's a lot more to it. We're fine-tuning the little things. He's such a coachable kid.
"I'm not sure how the competition is going to go in the section. We've haven't seen much yet. Jason's goal is to hit a 22-footer. In the back of his head that's what he wants to accomplish. We hope he peaks at the right time. We've got a lot of season left, some big meets coming up. He has started out so well."
Warriors head coach Rod Reuer said Roberts was determined to be ready for the beginning of the track season.
"Obviously, he's come in in pretty good shape," Reuer said. "He's got more strength. It's the kind of thing you look for in a returning veteran senior. He's put in his years. Now, hopefully, this is his year to be in the limelight a little bit.
"Obviously, in his experiences from soccer and hockey, he's been a varsity athlete in many sports and he's been captain in all three. He's taken on that leadership role. I know he's looked up to by some other athletes. He's not the most vocal guy around. He shows by example what needs to be done."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Erin Donnelly, softball, pitched a three-hit shutout vs. Sartell.
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