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On your mark: Local runner one race away from Paris Olympics

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 28, 2024

SUAMICO (NBC 26) — Bay Port High alum Cordell Tinch will race Friday at 9:50 p.m. in the final of the 110-meter hurdles at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials. Tinch needs to finish in the top three to qualify for the Olympic Games.

  • The race will air on NBC 26 and Peacock
  • Tinch finished second in his semifinal Thursday evening to qualify for Friday's final
  • Tinch's road to the Trials final included stops at community college, Division II Pitt State, and as a cell phone salesman before bringing him to the World Championships last year
  • Two of Tinch's high school coaches say his maturity has come a long way as he realizes his potential on the track
  • Video shows the coaches and Tinch reflecting on his Olympic dream

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Six years ago, Cordell Tinch was competing right here for the Bay Port Pirates. Now, he's a race away from representing Team USA at the Paris Olympic Games. We're with Tinch and two of his high school coaches.

Tinch was a multi-sport athlete in high school. His basketball coach says his athleticism was rare.

"As a senior, bringing things back like this [dunk] and you're like 'holy smokes,'" Bay Port boys basketball coach Nate Rykal said. "And he's doing stuff that you don't see. You just don't see it at the high school level very often.

His high school track coach says it was a matter of time before Tinch realized his talent.

"I think all his coaches and people around him always knew, once he ever figured out what he really wanted, and what his potential was, the sky was the limit," said Andrew Nuthals, the Bay Port track and field head coach.

Tinch eventually did set his mind to a big future goal.

"I think he was a sophomore [or] junior when I asked him 'what do you want to do?'" Rykal said. "And he said 'I want to go to the Olympics.'"

And now, he's right on the doorstep. Tinch finished second in his 110-meter hurdles semifinal Thursday night, and needs to finish top three in the final to make the Olympics. When we caught up with him in last month, he was already prepared.

"If you make the Games, will you get the Olympic rings tattooed?"

"Absolutely," Tinch said. "It's just a part of the culture. If you are a part of the team, you do get that tattoo."

His mentors back at home will be watching.

"We have a group chat with a lot of his coaches and a lot of his colleagues, and we'll all be watching at the same time," Nuthals said.

"I just continue to love the city, and it loves me back, ten times over," Tinch said.

Tinch's race tonight is at 9:50 p.m. — you can watch it right here on NBC 26 or on Peacock.

And remember, it's only a 13-second race -- so don't tune in late!