Parker Robinson is jumping his way to the big time.
More precisely, the Crosby-Ironton senior will be high jumping in the Big Ten.
Robinson is trading his maroon and white uniform for maroon and gold as he signed a letter of intent with the University of Minnesota men's track and field team Thursday. He will high jump for the Gophers after redshirting his freshman year.
C-I athletic director Roger Twigg called Gophers assistant coach Steve Plasencia to discuss Robinson. Plasencia then brought Robinson to the attention of Gophers head coach Phil Lundin, who called Robinson.
"I started getting letters from them last year and they talked to me at the state meet," said Robinson. "Midway through the summer I got a call from Phil and he brought me down to see the campus. He offered me a little scholarship and I'm signing with them."
Robinson received a $1,500 scholarship. He plans on studying athletic training or physical training.
Robinson won the Class 1A state high jump last year with a leap of 6-8. He missed 6-10 1/4 by a heel. He will attempt to defend his title this spring with a goal of 7-0 in his sights.
He also advanced to state in the 110-meter hurdles and long and triple jumps. He was not recruited for those events, but hopes to improve enough this season to attempt those in college.
"Unless I can improve and get up to their standards in the other events I will just be doing high jump," Robinson said. "I would like to do the triple and long jump."
Robinson holds the school record with his 6-9 jump in the Subsection 25, Class 1A meet.
"It's nice to be able to relax and not have to stress out about my future anymore," said Robinson. "They'll have three or four guys when I get down there who can clear seven feet so I'll learn a lot from them."
The senior joins a short list of C-I graduates who have competed on the Gophers' track and field team.
Lynn Frauendienst, the state hurdles champion, was the first Ranger. Krista Anderson is currently with the Gophers track and cross country teams.
"I called Steve Plasencia and told him that we had a kid here who could jump 6-8," said Twigg. "With the way he was jumping and doing the hurdles, I thought they might look at him more as a decathlete, but they want him to high jump for them."
Robinson said every school with a track and field team sent him a letter. Only one coach, Lundin, called him.
"There are days when he has more mail in my mailbox at school than I do," Rangers track coach Robert Palmer said.
"He already had received quite a bit of attention the previous year because he was a consistent jumper. Any college coach who followed him noticed he had become an automatic 6-6. The only question now is what's his best going to be? The maroon and gold will have the privilege of answering that question once he's done jumping for C-I."
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