Over the last couple of years, senior Michelle Cobb has made a name for herself among the running community at Roberson. Most students involved with the track program know her personally, or they know of her as a standout jumper and sprinter. Cobb’s main events are the triple jump, high jump and the 400.
One of Cobb’s most recent successful events was the WNC indoor track state competition, where she won the 4A women’s triple jump with a distance of 48 feet 8 inches. That jump was four inches farther than the event’s runner up, Ardrey Kell High School athlete Briana Mercer.
Though “State Champion” is a respectable title in the high school track world, Cobb’s spring season last year took her even farther. After placing at the 2016 WNC state competition, Cobb advanced to the New Balance Track and Field Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. with other teammates from TC Roberson.
Senior Makahla Stout also focuses on triple jump and has been competing alongside Cobb since their freshman year.
“Practicing with Michelle over the years and seeing her presence and the fact that he was a 10th overall pick in the MLB Draft draws a lot of attention to the sports programs at Roberson.
Naturally, Cobb’s win at indoor state has set the bar high for her final spring season of track and field while contributing to her previous accomplishments.
Cobb has been competing in track for six years. In middle school, she chose to get into the sport because of encouragement from her father, but she had no idea her practices would ever amount to anything. Countless workouts later, track has become more than just a sport for Michelle.
“I ended up falling in love with track and everything it did for me. Middle school was a hard time for me. In sixth grade, my dad passed. I would think about him wanting me to run, and that was my motivation. Through that, I felt closer to him,” Cobb said.
While Cobb credits involvement in her sport with helping her improve her physical strength, find a positive headspace and form close friendships, she said it has also challenged her to push herself mentally.
“There were definitely some hills that I’ve had to climb. There were a lot of times where I felt like I was just not getting better. I would tell myself that I was not good enough, which only pushed me down,” Cobb said.
Like many athletes, Cobb is no stranger to stress and frustration induced from competition and lack of improvement. But Cobb said she has a strong support system in her family and coaches. Without their encouragement, she doubts she would be as successful as she is today.
“My mom is my biggest motivator. After my dad passed, it was hard for her. But she stayed strong for me to help me through. During the times when I really was my worst enemy, she never gave up on me. She is still my number one fan,” Cobb said.
Former Roberson head track coach Andy Morgan is another individual who has been a positive influence on Cobb’s track career and who has pushed her to become the athlete she is today.
“He saw what I had in me. He used to tell me, ‘Just give it your all, leave your heart on the field and I’ll be proud of you at the end of the day.’ So that’s what I did. I really appreciate him for that,” Cobb said.
Ending her last high school season, Michelle admits, will be difficult.
“Track has always been the best part of my day; running is honestly my passion.”
Cobb won’t have to quit anytime soon. She committed to NC State to run track and field and says she couldn’t be any happier about her decision. She hopes to excel in her element for the next four years.