All it took was a bit of rest and a little vitamin C, and Solomon Crenshaw secured his spot at the IHSA state track meet.

Despite winning all three of his events — the long jump and both the 100 and 200-meter dashes — in his final three meets leading up to the Paxton Sectional, the Schlarman junior wasn’t exactly happy with the way he had been performing.

Crenshaw won the long jump at Friday’s Paxton Sectional with a jump of 21 feet, 3½ inches and won both 100 and 200-meter dashes with times of 11.2 and 22.63 seconds respectively.

Now he has one more opportunity this season to better his times and distance in the three events on the biggest stage of the season.

“I’m going there with my head held high, hoping to do good,” Crenshaw said. “I feel pretty rested up and I get almost another week. I’m just going to stay rested up and do the best I can.

“I’ve never had as much competition as I’ve had here in Paxton. (Watseka’s) Marcel (Maiden) really stepped it up in the 200 and 100. I thought he was going to beat me in both of them, but I stepped up a little more and ended up winning it.”

Crenshaw admitted that it took awhile this season to get to the point where he could have this kind of success.

Schlarman coach Brian Rohrbach said part of the adjustment might have been him getting used to the team and Crenshaw getting used to Rohrbach’s coaching style. But now that everything is in sync, Crenshaw is determined to make his mark in Charleston.

Rohrbach knew Crenshaw had a pretty good chance of qualifying in the two sprints, but has perhaps been most impressed with his success in long jump.

“The long jump is kind of weird because he likes doing it and I like having him do it,” Rohrbach said. “But the only time he does it is when he is at meets. We don’t have a long jump pit and we don’t have a runway, so we just kind of go by the seat of our pants.

“I think it will be good for him. That will be his event that he will really have to work at qualifying for Saturday. It will be a good event for him for Thursday to be in the environment of state and maybe to relax what nerves he has.”

Joining him in Charleston will be Bismarck-Henning’s Ian Park who will be attempting to place in the 300 hurdles.

Park finished second in the event with a time of 42.22 seconds and came up just short of also qualifying in the 110 hurdles, placing third. But both he and coach Phil Benjamin are looking forward to the opportunity to see how the sophomore hurdler ranks among the state’s elite.

“Through the year he has done well and has seemed to have gotten better every meet,” Benjamin said. “He keeps getting better. He’s peaking at the right time.

“I’m glad that he made it as a sophomore. That way, he’s going to get there, experience everything and be able to come back his junior and senior year and even do better than what he’s going to do this year. We’ll work him this week just like normal and see what he can do.”

Park isn’t taking this year’s trip to Charleston for granted, though, and is going in with high hopes and expectations.

“I always have high expectations,” Park said. “There’s no point in running if you don’t. I’ll just see what happens.

“Maybe I can sneak up on somebody. I’ll work hard this week and see what happens when I get there.”

The boys IHSA Class 1A state meet begins May 28 at Eastern Illinois University with finals taking place May 30.

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