PHS track star Hines signs with Samford

Pelham High School track star Erin Hines reveals her athletic commitment to Samford University. (Reporter photo/Jessa Pease)

Pelham High School track star Erin Hines reveals her athletic commitment to Samford University. (Reporter photo/Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— After being named Alabama’s 2016 heptathlon champion, Pelham High School’s Erin Hines held a signing celebration May 18 to reveal her university commitment.

With three university T-shirts—Auburn, Southern Miss and Troy—within her reach, Hines grabbed the black and gold colors of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles only to reveal a hidden Samford University flag.

“I think I’ll choose this one,” she said, smiling and holding up the flag for everyone to see.

“I just looked at the athletes that were being recruited there, and I thought it would be a good fit for me in all the events I am doing because I am being recruited for the heptathlon,” Hines said of her decision. “I just think it’s a better judgment for me to go there.”

Hines will be attending Samford with her teammate Mary Grace Strozier.

Hines will be attending Samford with her teammate Mary Grace Strozier.

Hines said the coaches at Samford pursued her, calling her every weekend and cheering her on every time she competed. The coaches and the university seemed like a good fit for what Hines said she wants to accomplish at the next level.

Her goal is to continue setting personal records in everything she does. The heptathlon consists of seven track and field events: The 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin and 800-meter run.

While Hines has always been an excellent athlete, head coach Marty Springfield and coach Jennifer Argo both said she’s improved greatly during her stint at Pelham.

Both added that the hurdles started as a challenge for Hines, but they ended up being one of her best events. She placed second in the indoor track state championship tournament.

“I know that both of us always appreciated the fact that Erin would put so much in that for her team,” Argo said. “If we would have allowed her to do just one, maybe two events, she might have been even better in those events, but we needed her to do four at the big ones that counted. She was able to do that, and it sacrificed a lot from herself. Because of that our team, as a whole, was able to win a state title.”

Pelham City Schools Athletic Director Kim Kiel said she first met Hines through volleyball her freshman year. She commented on Hines’ eagerness to perform any task with determination, as well as her positive attitude and leadership qualities.

Through her time at PHS, Kiel said she’s watched Hines grow as an athlete and a student, and she’s excited to follow Hines at the next level.

“This young lady has a very bright future,” Kiel said. “We are blessed to have a lot of those student athletes (at PHS), but you’ve got it. You’ve got the ‘It factor.’ We are going to be seeing this young lady in the news and in the papers. Whatever she does, she is going to excel.”