Tyler Cronk and Solomon Hines came up golden on high school’s biggest track and field stage last Saturday.
Kentridge’s senior stars punctuated standout prep careers with strong finishes at the 4A championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Expected to win, Cronk did just that, climbing 6 feet, 9 inches to defend his high jump title. Wanting to clear 7 feet, Cronk missed on three attempts at 6-11.
Afterward, he graciously accepted the win and looked back fondly on his career at Kentridge.
“It’s not just for myself, I jump basically for my family and my school,” the 6-foot-8 Cronk said. “Winning last year and again this year feels good.”
Cronk, among the national leaders with his personal-best 7-3 set earlier this season, thanked his supporters and coaches for his good fortune. He will take his talents to Saint Martin’s College in Lacey, where he plans to compete in track and study secondary education.
“Going from 6-5 my sophomore year to 7-3 my senior year, it took a lot of hard work, lifting and stuff,” he said. “I was able to be determined to try and go for the state record today, but I didn’t get a chance to. It felt good, working hard, having a good coach and a good family. To be able to be here now, it’s an honor.”
The state record stands at 7-4½ set by Franklin’s Rick Noji back in 1984.
Denied a win in his 100-meter showdown against Graham-Kapowin’s D’Angelo Biggs, Hines took care of business in the 200.
Pressed by his friend, Auburn Riverside’s Jaden Robinson, Hines held a step-or-two edge to the wire, winning in a personal-best 21.65 seconds. Moments later, the rivals exchanged hugs.
“It feels so good,” Hines said of the win. “It was a good get-out (from the blocks) and I was good off the turn. I knew if I kept it all the way, I’d have it. … I had to push myself mentally and physically.”
Earlier, Hines settled for second in the 100 (10.95) and anchored the 400 relay team with Nathan Peak, Doyal Bolin and Caleb Barrera to fourth place (42.40).
Kent-Meridian’s Alex McGeachy tweaked a hamstring early on and scrambled to finish eighth in the 300 intermediate hurdles (41.9).
He earlier missed the 110 finals.
“I had a pretty good season, but it didn’t finish the way I wanted it to,” said McGeachy, who plans to play football in the fall at Central Washington University.
Kentwood senior Haily Suit managed just fine, finishing sixth in the 100 meters (12.33) and anchoring the 400 relay – with Alyssa Gonzalez, Jessica Robinson and Faith Marshall – to second (48.03).
Kentlake’s Stanford-bound Jordan Fong captured the discus (137-7) and was second in the shot (41-6¾).
Kentwood’s Destiny Capers was fifth in the discus (129-1) and seventh in the javelin (personal-best 123-11).
Kentridge’s Lauryn “Lolo” Ford claimed bronze in the long jump with a personal-best 18-11¼. … K-M junior Aaron Tulloch made the podium in the triple jump (48-7¾, eighth). … Kentwood’s Daniel Gaik was eighth in the 400 (51.35). … The Royals’ 800 relay of Makayla McIntosh, Brittany Tellis, Qwaniah Levy and Olivia Carter was seventh (1:44.23).