Robbie Grace, Class of 2019 - The Blake School
What are all your personal records? What State Meet competitions have you been in, and what were your results?
My personal records are:
Long Jump: 19'5"
I have had 4 state appearances so far. My first state meet was my 8th-grade year when I ran for Southwest High School and I only ran the 400m. That year I surprised myself. I started to PR every track meet and I ended the year placing 3rd at the 2A state meet with 56.2 sec. My second state meet was the year after, running for Blake High School. I ran the 400m and 4x400m. My team took second place overall, I placed 3rd in the 400m, and our 4x400 did not place. My 3rd State appearance, I placed 3rd in the long jump and 2nd in the 400m. My 4th appearance was my junior year where I went to State for all my events: 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump. I was 3rd in the 100m with a 12.2 secs, 2nd in the 200m with a 25.5 secs, 2nd in the 400m with a 56.8 and first in the long jump with a 18'5".
How did you first get involved with track, and what other sports have you done?
I first got involved in track when I was 8 years old. I ran for Pershing Park, which was the park down the hill from my old house. My whole life I have been a 3 sport athlete: Volleyball, Basketball, and Track. I would juggle these sports all year around completely for my school and as well as club teams. I really have been passionate for all 3 sports, but my senior year I decided to focus on Track because I had decided to run track in college
Tell me about what it was like to sweep the long jump at the Hamline Elite Meet and the State meet last year.
Both moments were a dream come true. I was never a jumper to begin with in middle school. I was originally always a good 400m runner till I jumped at one random meet and I jumped somewhat decent in the 15' range and I just kept at it till I kept PRing to where I am now. Both days were very stressful and tiring because I had to run the 400m during the long jump finals of each meet. I didn't jump my goal of anything close to my PR, but I had to keep myself together mentally during each jump.
Who might we find cheering for you at competitions?
My mom and dad always make sure they make it to almost all my track meets each year. My dad will always be the 150m mark left of the 400m yelling out my 200 split. At the end of the year at the State Meet, my whole extended family that lives in Minnesota come for all of my events.
What is a challenge, or challenges, you have had to face as an athlete, and how have you worked to overcome?
I have really sensitive feet. When it gets really hot outside, the skin on the bottoms of my feet burns and blister. I have to wear thin rubber insoles to ensure the skin does not blister and fall off like it used to. It helps, but one year all of the skin on one foot fell off with my shoe when I took it off. It was one of the most painful experiences, but I love running and I had to get over it.
What are your main goals for this track season?
My goal for the year is to jump 20 feet, as well as PR in all my events by the end of the high school season.
Do you have any post-graduation plans?
I am committed to run track at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina as a primary long jumper. I am really excited for the next 4 years as a demon deacon.
Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?
Before I start a meet, I must have a Glacier Freeze Gatorade. I don't know why, but they are really good.
When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
Honestly, If I didn't run track I would be playing basketball. Basketball has been something I have been doing since I could walk or when my dad could put a ball in my hand. It was something I was really good at.
What advice would you give to younger athletes, or athletes just starting out in track?
Keep working hard even when the people around you don't wanna put the work in. You need to put in the work to be successful. Not anyone else. Some times workouts and running, in general, gets tough, but in the end, it gets better. Trust me!
Do you have any specific jumping advice or tips that you would like to share?
Never look down no matter what!! Looking down at the board and in the air will only take away the inches you need to PR.