For Jonathan Roberts, the UIL state swim meet is getting to be old hat. The Southlake Carroll senior has qualified for the state meet all four years of high school and medaled six times.
He has been a part of three consecutive state championship teams and hopes to add one more this weekend at the State Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday and Saturday at the Texas Swim Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
“This season has gone very well,” Roberts said. “I feel like our team has really good chemistry. The past three years, we’ve had some really good teams, but the thing about this year is we are all a lot closer. That is something that has helped us this season, because we lost a lot of talent last year.”
The California native said he had two objectives coming into the season, which did not initially include claiming Carroll’s fifth consecutive state title.
“My first goal this year was to be the best captain I could be,” Roberts said. “All of the years leading up to this season, I’ve had a lot of good captains, and I just wanted to keep that legacy going and protect that tradition. I want the younger swimmers to know that I care about their success as much as they do and as much as I care about my own success.
“Another definite goal of mine was to come in and get more best times this year and really press with some of my events. My favorite event is the 500 free, and I have yet to get a best time in that this year, so that leaves it up to the state meet.”
Roberts, who is headed to UT in the fall on a swimming scholarship, will compete in the 500-yard freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay, and 400 freestyle relay this weekend. He’s the top seed in both individual events, but he said his No. 1 goal is to win the team title.
“That is what would mean the most,” said Roberts, who won gold last year in the 200 and 500 freestyles. “I would also like to help our relays win state. If I can win two individual gold medals, that would be icing on the cake.”
Coach Kevin Murphy said Roberts has meant a great deal to the Carroll program over the past four years and he will be missed next year.
“He’s real coachable,” Murphy said. “He is real steady and cooperative. You ask him for certain things, and he will give you everything he’s got. I think the biggest thing that defines Jonathan, and this goes for the rest of our program as well, is that he competes for the team, where the team needs him to swim.
“He strives to do things for the team that puts all of us in position to do well. If the individuals are getting some power from their teammates, then when they do well, the teammates get to share in that.”
Other swimmers to watch