Park's Ogunrinde caps 3-sport career with a dash

  • Article by: NATE GOTLIEB , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 5, 2014 - 6:28 PM

Soccer and basketball behind her, Temi Ogunrinde hopes to finish her lengthy career as a Park athlete with a state track meet title in June.

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Temi Ogunrinde, a three-sport athlete at Park of Cottage Grove who is going to run track for the Gophers next year, worked on the starting blocks.

Photo: Richard Sennott • richard.sennott@startribune.com,

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Not many high school students possess an athletic résumé like that of Park senior Temi Ogunrinde.

Ogunrinde played five years of varsity soccer and four years of varsity basketball, and she has run varsity track for the past four years. This spring Ogunrinde, a sprinter, will look to add a high school track state championship to her list of accomplishments.

“A lot of people think I peaked early and that, you know, my best days are over,” she said. “I just want to prove that I’m still there and I can still do it.”

Ogunrinde, who finished third in the 400-meter dash at the Class 2A state meet in 2012, was limited by injuries last spring. A nagging ankle problem from soccer and basketball worsened during track, and she pulled a hamstring in a 100-meter race at True Team sections.

This spring she’s working with Park’s strength and conditioning coordinator, Justin Ellevold, to stay in shape.

“I didn’t prepare myself enough last year, being indoors all the time,” she said. “That’s kind of why I’ve been working out with Coach E so much this year to prepare myself more, ’cause I know we might not be out there for a while.”

Ogunrinde first played soccer at age 4. She began playing basketball in grade school and joined track and field in seventh grade. She made the varsity soccer team in eighth grade and the varsity track and basketball teams in ninth grade.

As a junior, Ogunrinde earned all-state honors in soccer and helped her basketball team to a 23-6 record. This year Ogunrinde has captained all three teams and has said she is fully healthy. She led the soccer team to an 11-5 record last fall and helped the basketball team win a conference title and reach the Class 4A, Section 3 championship this winter.

Park sophomore Ally Gorres, who has played with Ogunrinde on the basketball and track and field teams, said Ogunrinde took her under her wing in junior high and has helped her become a better athlete in both sports.

Gorres called her “one of those people who has always been there for me in every sport. I can always count on her no matter what.”

Ogunrinde is “the catalyst that kind of drives our entire team right now,” Maher said.

“She pushes everybody to do better. She works diligently every day,” he said. “People gravitate towards her, and her personality, her attitude is infectious.”

Ogunrinde will join the Gophers track and field team next year. Minnesota coach Matt Bingle said he doesn’t know which events Ogunrinde will participate in but said her experience with multiple sports is a plus.

At Park, Ogunrinde also has found time to participate in Park’s spring musical and serve on student council and the youth advisory committee.

“I try to do as much as I can in the school, ’cause it’s just fun being around so many different groups of people,” she said. “It’s just fun to be the fun girl that everyone talks to. It makes life fun.”

 

Nate Gotlieb is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.

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