Men’s track and field on the rise
Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
Tyler Cronk, the freshman hailing from Kent, Wash. is having himself an impressive first season. Cronk earned 2019 U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Indoor Second Team All-American honors, along with a 2019 USTFCCCA Indoor All-Region Team, 2019 GNAC Indoor High Jump Champion, 2019 GNAC Indoor Performance of the Meet, a four-time GNAC Athlete of the Week, and a two-time Saint of the Month. Cronk even earned an invitation to the NCAA Indoor National Championship, where he placed 12th overall in the country, with a jump of 6-feet and 8.25-inches. The freshman has brought in so much attention that for a Saints fan, it would be hard to have not heard of him. With the outdoor season just starting, who knows what is in store for Cronk’s already historic year. An article written by GNAC Sports stated, “Cronk was named the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week, after he opened his outdoor season with a winning jump of 7 feet, 0.5 inches. Just the second athlete in GNAC history to clear seven feet in the event, Cronk moved into No. 2 on the GNAC All-Time List and notched an automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships, as he is now tied for the best mark in Division II this season.”
Kauanoe Vanderpoel, a Hawaiian from the island of Maui, is also having a stellar year. Vanderpoel has also been adding to his resume, with an indoor weight throw win at the GNAC championship. To go along with the award, the senior was named to the 2019 USTFCCCA All-Region Team. His sophomore year, he was named a 2017 USTFCCCA All-Region Team and a 2017 GNAC All-Conference selection. Vanderpoel also holds the outdoor hammer throw record at an astonishing 57.49m. Just like Cronk, with the outdoor season around the corner, who knows what is possible for the senior looking to end his college career with a bang.
Jackson Hand, the senior from Edmonds has also been a bright spot for the Saints with a 200m win in the GNAC championship. To go along with his amazing 200m sprint, the senior has also been racking up the awards, including a spot on the 2019 USTFCCCA All-Region Team. As a sophomore in 2017, he was named to the USTFCCCA All-Region Team. He is also a one-time Saint of the Month, and twice the GNAC Player of the Week. Hand also holds numerous indoor and outdoor records with indoor records of 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, and 4x400m relay. He also holds outdoor records in the 200m, 4×100 relay, and 4×400 relay.
According to SMU Athletics, Michael Russell earned his spot in the finals of the 200m sprint as well, and finished fourth overall with a time of 22.25 seconds. Josh Schulz finished the GNAC championship second in the heptathlon. After the 60m hurdles, pole vault, and 1,000m race, Schulz dropped to eighth in the crowded field with a total score of 4,527 points.