Jonathan Roberts captures third straight Big 12 title

Ross Burkhart

Senior Jonathan Roberts is no stranger to the podium.

Friday’s events at the Big 12 Championships resulted in Roberts’ third consecutive title in the 400-yard individual medley.

Roberts prepared for the race just like he does any other — taking it 100 yards at a time.

“I just wanted to work and build through each 100 in the strokes and see where I came out,” Roberts said. “It’s not my best performance, but I’m here and a senior. I’m just blessed to be here and really fortunate, especially in such a storied event.”

Roberts had been in this situation before, and he intended to treat it as such.

With just 50 yards to go in the final stretch of the race at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, junior Sam Stewart came close to securing an upset victory over Roberts. Then, as one length of the pool remained, Roberts switched gears to secure a victory over his teammate.

Roberts finished with a time of 3:43.72 while Stewart grabbed second place in the event at 3:44.93.

Despite having won a multitude of events over his four years at Texas, Roberts still looks to previous Longhorn greats for inspiration.

“Coming off guys like Austin Surhoff and Will Licon who have done this event before me and just building off of their legacy is really an honor,” Roberts said. “Especially with three of my teammates. Guys that I’m waking up in the morning with and getting lunch with. It’s really a great opportunity.”