It wasn’t hard to determine former Central Catholic High School track and field standout Kendall Robinson’s allegiance on Tuesday, even down to the body part that will help him continue his sports career on the collegiate level.
Robinson, who held a signing ceremony on Tuesday at Central Catholic to celebrate his decision to continue his track and field career at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, was not only decked out in a Southeastern Louisiana shirt and had a SLU hat sitting on the table where he sat with family members for the signing ceremony, but he also wore socks emblazoned with the SLU logo. It was certainly a fitting gesture considering Robinson will rely heavily on his legs as he participates in the high jump at the next level.
Not bad for an athlete that has just two years of high jumping experience.
While Robinson originally started jumping as a sophomore, just two weeks into practice, his season was cut short because of an injury in the event.
However, he came back as a junior and again as a senior to compete.
“He’s only basically two years into high jumping,” CCHS coach David Fuhrer said. “I think once he gets on the college level and they can concentrate on that one event and one sport, the potential is unlimited for him. That’s what I’m looking forward to seeing: how he grows as a track athlete. He’s already a fine young man and a good student, so we’re going to see what he can do on the track.”
Robinson said he thought the injury he suffered as a sophomore actually made him a better athlete because “it taught me how to get over certain obstacles that in track you encounter a lot of times.”
Robinson said he decided to continue his career at Southeastern because of the openness he received while on campus.
“They accepted you right off the bat, and they basically just showed me around like I was already one of their own,” Robinson said.
Fuhrer said Southeastern first saw Robinson at the Division II Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s indoor state meet earlier this season where he placed second.
While the high jump, in which Robinson boasts a personal best of 6-feet, 5-inches (a CCHS school record), will be his main event in college, Robinson also may compete in the long jump or the triple jump at the collegiate level, Fuhrer said. Robinson has recorded a personal best of 20-feet, 1 inch in the long jump but did not compete in the triple jump in high school.
During this past outdoor season, Robinson made it to the regionals in the high jump, but he helped the Central Catholic 4x100 meter relay advance to the Class 1A state track and field meet where it finished seventh.
In Hammond, Robinson will join Austin Stroud, a former Morgan City High School sprinter who graduated in 2012 and recently signed with SLU as well as former CCHS standout Nia Stewart, who just completed her second year on the SLU track team.
“Nia’s done a great job representing herself and her family and Central Catholic that it kind of opened the door for Kendall,” Fuhrer said. “Hopefully with Kendall getting there and having some success, it will open the door for other kids. I think Southeastern is a great place for them. They got (an) outstanding coaching staff. They just got their track redone (and have a) new facility. They’re just moving forward over there.”
Robinson said Stewart’s knowledge would be helpful to him as he adjusts to the collegiate level.
“(It’s) a major benefit for me just being able to be tutored or trained by someone who’s already been through the college level,” Robinson said.
And once he gets to campus, Robinson said he is anxious to prove his worth as more than just a Class 1A standout.
“I’m really anxious just to show them what a … person from a small school can do,” Robinson said.