Kentridge sprinter Solomon Hines. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Kentridge sprinter Solomon Hines. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Local athletes rev up for track and field’s big meets

City showdown goes to the starting blocks

Kentridge High’s Solomon Hines and Tyler Cronk are saving their best for last.

Hines, one of the state’s top sprinters, and Cronk, a national leader in the high jump, are poised for warmer weather and stronger competition as May presents a series of key season-closing track and field meets, beginning with the Kent All-City Meet at French Field on Thursday. (Results unavailable at press time).

“I feel good, I feel confident. … I know I’m doing better than last year,” said Hines, who blistered the Auburn Mountainview High School oval last week, clocking personal-best times of 21.77 seconds in the 200-meter and 10.79 seconds in the 100. “I’m ready for it. (The area’s best competition) pushes me, motivates me to do better.”

Heading into the All-City meet, Hines has the state’s second-best time in the 200 so far at 21.77, just behind Cheney’s Charles Johnson (21.48). He owns the fifth-best 100-meter time, with Shadle Park of Spokane’s Tony Pizzillo (10.5) occupying the top spot for now.

Hines, a senior, also anchored the Chargers’ 400-meter relay team, which delivered a season-best 42.79-second effort at the April 26 dual meet at Auburn Mountainview. Nathan Peak, Deontae Roberts and Caleb Barrera joined Hines in the effort, which is the third swiftest in the state this spring.

“And we’re in the process of getting better,” said Hines, who has received a partial scholarship to attend Florida’s Bethune-Cookman University to play football and run track.

Cronk, meanwhile, has been in a class by himself when it comes to his specialty, the high jump.

The 6-foot-8 senior, the state’s defending 4A high jump champion, cleared a personal-best 7 feet, 3 inches to capture the title at the Pasco Invitational earlier this season. He has come close to clearing 7-4.

Cronk continues to have the nation’s best effort nationally among returning high school athletes. He shares the top spot with Sean Lee, of Trabuco Hills, Calif., and Jake Grumsman, of Folsom, Calif., according to Athletic.net.

Cronk captured the heralded Arcadia (Calif.) Invitational on April 7, with a leap of 6-9. The meet brought together the top three high jumpers in the nation. Cronk said there is more spring in his step to climb higher.

“I got more in me,” said Cronk, who has committed to attend St. Martin’s University in Lacey to compete in track and study either secondary education or criminal justices. “For me, it’s about preparation. … I’m happy with where I’m at right now.”

Elsewhere

Kentridge junior Lauryn Ford has the ninth-best 100 time for all girls sprinters in the state (12.17). She is ranked 16th in the state for the 200 (25.46) and is eighth in the long jump (17-11¼). … Kentwood’s 800-meter relay team of Jessica Robinson, Skyler Pollak, Alyssa Gonzalez and Hailey Suit has the sixth-best state time of 1:45. … Kentlake’s Stanford-bound Jordan Fong is among the state leaders in the discus and shot put.

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