Cindy Robinson has grown up this track and field season. After injuries and immaturity hampered her first two seasons at WSU, this sprinter out of California is hitting her stride in her junior year. Now leading the WSU women’s team in the 100-meter dash and second in the 200-meter dash, Robinson said she feels more motivated and focused than ever.
“Before I was just resistant to working out,” she said. "I didn’t work as hard, and this year. I’m taking it a lot more seriouslyIn my past seasons, I was younger and wasn’t as prepared. I feel like this year, I came in with a better attitude and more motivation.”
Originally from Norwalk, Cali., this junior communication major is setting personal records almost every week on the track, while still balancing an 18-credit class load. Simply put, Robinson is a busy lady these days.
“I kind of just make it work,” Robinson said. “Whenever I have free time. I just do what I canIt’s definitely been rewarding. I’ve been scoring and making finals and everything. It feels good, and my coaches are proud of me.”
Robinson’s coaches are indeed impressed with her newfound maturity on the track. Coach Ellannee Richardson said it’s been fun watching her progress and mature this season.
“She has so much more confidence in herself on the track now than she ever has before,” Richardson said. “I remember her freshman year when we would get to the big meets and you could see the fear in her eyes. Her attitude toward competition is different this year. Now she’s excited to race the top athletes in the conference — she has matured into a fierce competitor. “
Robinson credits that fierce competitive spirit to her mother, who still claims the family’s top 200-meter dash time of 23.5 seconds. Robinson said she is determined to beat her mother’s time this season.
“More than anything, I want to run a 23.5,” Robinson said. “I couldn’t beat her in high school, but my goal is just to do it period. I just got to beat her tine — I just have to do it.”
While determined to beat her mother’s mark, Robinson said there would be no hard feelings if and when she does. Robinson said her mother has always supported her in life and athletics.
“My mom is a big influence,” Robinson said. “I did track more for her when I started off. Ever since I’ve been doing it, she’s always been the one there for me.”
Robinson credits her mom for pushing her to stay in school, even when she was going through personal struggles as a homesick freshman. Robinson’s said her mom went through similar problems, dropping out at the University of Tennessee after attaining a scholarship to run track. She said her mom didn’t want to see her make the same mistake she did.
“I think there was a time when I was like, ‘I don’t really want to be here anymore’. That was when track wasn’t going so great for me. I just was missing home and I was sad,” Robinson said. “I do believe it has made me stronger having to fight through that tough time. If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t still be here. I do thank her for that.”
Robinson’s determination extends to the classroom as well. After graduating high school with a 4.12 GPA, she is now taking six classes on top of her athletic responsibilities. Pursuing a degree in communication, Robinson hopes to eventually go into broadcasting, either in the field of sport or entertainment. A career in broadcasting is fitting for Robinson’s self-described talkative nature.
“It’s just me,” she said. “I can’t help it. I talk a lot.”
This determined junior will heed her mother’s advice and continue sprinting to success on and off the track. For now, she remains focused on running that elusive 23.5-second time.