Roberts, Lankford ready to go
Fairfield senior Kyle Roberts enjoys competing in the hurdles for the Trojan track and field team.
He’d enjoy the hurdles even more if an element were added to each race.
How about allowing each competitor to push or tackle any other opponent? After the starting gun goes off, let the hurdlers get after it a little — and then those still standing can finish up the race.
“I’m all for that,” Roberts said. “That sounds good to me. I’d push people around if they’d let me.”
Roberts has been a standout football and basketball player for Fairfield for four years. He was the Trojans’ designated enforcer in hoops, a tenacious rebounder and defender, and well known for his physicality on the gridiron.
But since no rule change is in sight for the hurdles, Roberts will rely on his speed and hurdling technique to help the 2017 Trojan track and field team.
“We expect a lot of good things from Kyle in the hurdles this season,” said Trojan head coach Brian Dunlap. “He’s a very consistent athlete. He spent a lot of time on the hurdles last year and he can also fill in for us with sprints and throwing.
“He’s also been a key leader for us. He’s worked hard for us for four years. He’s our only senior hurdler this year, so we’re especially counting on him to lead our hurdler crew.”
Said Roberts, “Last year was the first time I did the high hurdles and you must have the right mentality for it. There are 10 hurdles clear across the track over the 110 meters. I’ve never been afraid to do the hurdles, I knew I could clear them.”
Another key returnee to the Trojans is sophomore sprinter Ashton Lankford whose specialty is the 100 and 200.
“I expect some big things out of Ashton this season,” Dunlap said. “He’s a very solid sprinter and we may use him in some jumps, too. He’s a good athlete to have on our roster.”
Lankford had to contend with a leg injury in 2016, which limited his participation.
“I was hurt in the first part of the season and didn’t get to finish,” he said. “So I worked very hard in the offseason to get my leg up to full strength.
“And, so far, I’m feeling pretty good. My goals this year are to stay healthy — and feel that I always did my best.”