By James Moore
RALEIGH - In seventh grade, a young man from Winston-Salem realized his future aspirations early and found one of his callings after not making the basketball team in middle school.
After spending his early years experimenting with soccer, basketball, football, taekwondo, and learning various instruments, Terrell "Wheelz" Robinson Jr. found his love in track and field, and accepted the torch his track family passed to him.
The 18-year-old sprinting phenomenon has surpassed all expectations since taking off in the sport in the eighth grade.
"That first year was a little rocky," Robinson stated. "After that, once I got in eighth grade, I got better, broke a few meet records, and won a national championship."
At Mount Tabor High School, Robinson was among the most sought-after recruits nationwide. He received offers from Texas, Kentucky, Iowa, The Ohio State, and North Carolina A&T State universities.
He chose St. Augustine's University to follow the illustrious legacy left by Falcon alumnus and current men’s track and field coach Bershawn "Batman" Jackson, who laboriously recruited Robinson.
"The legacy here is rich. Even though I didn't know about (former coach) George Williams until I chose to come to St. Aug’s, I learned a lot about him, and it solidified my decision," Robinson said.
As a true freshman, Robinson earned the CIAA Men's Track Athlete of the Year Award. Coach Jackson is not surprised by Robinson’s early success.
"He fits the description well regarding St. Augustine’s track and field," Jackson said.
Robinson has the best 60-meter dash time (6.66 seconds) in the CIAA and is second best among Division II athletes.
"He's a great teammate. He works extremely hard in practice to achieve what he wants. I'm happy for him and his achievements this year, and I know it's only up for him from here," teammate Kailen Perry said.
Robinson maintains a balanced life off the field, as well, by being family-oriented, playing the piano and drums with his friends, and producing music.
"Outside of my child, I've never been more honored to coach another athlete,” Jackson said. “What coach wouldn't want to have him? He's very coachable, and that's the most important part. He was my first recruit, so when he told me he was coming to us, I felt the same way when my wife told me we were having our first child."
While Robinson doesn't have specific objectives for his future and is open to all of his options, he plans on getting a degree in business, going to graduate school, and running track professionally.