Jelani Roberts is a Gilman junior who lets his actions speak louder than his words.
Johnnie Foreman Jr., Roberts’s track coach and the director of diversity at Gilman, said his star runner has an interesting process for finding success in athletics.
He came in as a freshman looking to seniors as the example.
“At the beginning of the season, I try to set a goal and I try to reach my goal. It’s not necessarily a setting-a-record thing, but it is an improvement thing,” Roberts said.
Foreman said he didn’t notice Roberts right off the bat.
“He astonished us. It was like a bolt of lightning. Where did this kid come from? Where did that speed come from?” Foreman said. “I had no clue he would do what he is doing today.”
He’s considered one of the league’s best sprinters.
In the classroom, the sprinter is a studier—knocking out A’s in some of the toughest classes offered at Gilman.
“I would love to see him in one of the Ivy League [schools],” Foreman said.
Roberts credits his parents for his grind-it-out attitude.
“My parents always encouraged me to do my best and compete and be the best that I can be,” Roberts said.