A double winner from Bay Shore, Kadesh Roberts clears the...

A double winner from Bay Shore, Kadesh Roberts clears the last hurdle in the 400m hurdles. (June 2, 2012) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Maybe change isn't always a bad thing. That's the case for Bay Shore hurdler Kadesh Roberts.

Roberts was a double winner at Saturday's Suffolk state qualifying meet at Port Jefferson. The senior won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.6 seconds and ran a meet-record 52.0 in the 400 hurdles, the second-fastest time in the nation. He qualified for next week's state meet at Cicero-North Syracuse in both events.

"I just tried to stay in step pattern," Roberts said of the 400 hurdles. "Around the 200-meter mark, I picked it up a bit and got into position for the win."

Roberts wasn't a hurdler when he first began his track career. He started off as a long jumper and a triple jumper. But the Marauders had a glut of jumpers and graduated their only hurdler the year before.

"I knew he was a good athlete and I needed a hurdler," Langer said. "Did I expect him to be this good? No. But once things got going, I knew this was his event."

Roberts qualified for states in the 400 hurdles during his sophomore year and won it last year as a junior. He is currently best in the state in the 400 hurdles this year. Despite this impressive track history, Langer said that hasn't gone to his head.

"He's very humble," Langer said. "You'll never hear him talk about himself. He's a throwback type of kid."

One of the biggest surprises about Roberts' record-setting 400 hurdles run was that he ran the 110 hurdles just 30 minutes earlier.

"It's a pace thing," Roberts said. "In the 110, you just have to get out hard and in the 400, it's a pace thing."

In the 110 hurdles, Tyriek Johnson of Huntington was neck and neck with Roberts but that didn't faze Roberts. He ran past the finish line with his chest out and got the win.

"I always try to do my best; that's it. I don't let attention of people get to me and I stay humble the whole way through," Roberts said.

Despite all the other changes, that's the one constant.

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