Opinion

Mount Tahoma High sophomore is a track sensation

Ruby Roberts has made a habit out of physically assaulting running tracks throughout the state. Her latest victim, the Mount Tahoma High School’s track in Tahoma, fared no better than victims past.

Roberts, a sophomore — yes, she’s only a sophomore — became the one to beat and the one who’s unbeatable all in the same day. During May 24’s 2A state track meet, she surpassed her own expectations with a jaw-dropping 1600-meter time of 4:59.76. She ran an entire mile in just a shade under five minutes.

She’s 16. It’s absolutely inconceivable.

To make it better, she’s earned a place in the record books as Kingston’s first-ever, two-time state champion. She’s also a cross country state champion —a title she earned last fall.

Just a few weeks back, Roberts was highlighted on our sports page for her incredible feats ... make that feet. She’s a workhorse above all workhorses who doesn’t quite see her accomplishments on the same canvas everyone else does.

She set out with a goal at the beginning of the season: She wanted to break the five-minute mile. This is a goal to which many runners aspire, and few attain. To put it simply, she ran a mile faster than most could bike a mile. On flat ground.

“Nobody in any other division other than Ruby and some 4A runners ran under five at state,” coach Karla Labauch said. “That’s huge. I don’t even know how to describe how fast that is because I can’t even imagine running that fast and consistent. It’s just an amazing accomplishment.”

Roberts hasn’t lost a 1600-meter race since the seventh grade.

As they say on infomercials, “just wait, there’s more.”

Her sub-five-minute mile was the icing on a lightning-fast season. On Friday afternoon, Roberts ran a 10:59.15 3200-meter. That’s two miles. In less than 11 minutes. And she’s a sophomore.

“I was happy for the girl that was first because she really helped push me, and the girl behind helped push me a lot,” Roberts said in her typical laid-back, humble style. “I was just glad I got the chance to run with that group, partly because they really push the pace and they’re really nice.”

To say we expect great things out of Roberts as she grows more mature in her running career would take away from what she’s already done. So we won’t. We will say we look forward to watching her continue to pummel those in the starting blocks next to her.

We’d give her a high five — if we could catch her.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates