Truckee teen qualifies for Junior Olympic Nationals in third sport | SierraSun.com

Truckee teen qualifies for Junior Olympic Nationals in third sport

Special to the Sun
Submitted to swright@sierrasun.comTruckeeandamp;#8217;s Gabrielle Rinne smiles after setting a new meet record in the youth girlsandamp;#8217; 1,500-meter run at the AAU West Coast Junior Olympic Games in Reno on July 3.
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Training on the rather forlorn dirt track located between Truckee High School and the Sierra Mountain Education Center can be a lonely endeavor. Especially in the summer months, where you might occasionally find a child on a scooter, a few fitness walkers or a dog and owner enjoying a round of fetch in the midfield.Just ask 14-year-old Truckee runner Gabrielle Rinne, who has been training intensely for postseason track competition. Her training on the humble dirt track has paid off handsomely, as she has just qualified for two junior national-level competitions in track. This is the third time Rinne has qualified for Junior National Olympics, and in three different sports: cross-country running, Nordic skiing and now track and field.Rinneandamp;#8217;s first foray in national-level competition was in December 2009 at the USA Track andamp; Field (USATF) Cross Country Junior Olympics, conveniently held in Reno that year. More recently, she applied her speed and endurance skills to Nordic racing and was selected to represent the Far West Nordic team at the Junior Olympics in March of this year in Minneapolis.She was the youngest girl on the Far West team, a J3 athlete racing at the J2 level, gaining valuable experience for future years. Four months later, she has asserted herself in the track and field arena, qualifying to compete in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs at the AAU Junior Olympics in New Orleans in August, as well as the USATF Junior Olympic Nationals in Wichita, Kan., later this month. Each of Gabrielleandamp;#8217;s races in June and July has been a new sea level or altitude personal record. At the AAU West Coast Junior Olympic Games, held in Reno over the Fourth of July weekend, she placed second in the 800 and set a new meet record in the 1,500 at 5:13.The next weekend, at the USATF Junior Olympic Regionals in Stockton, in a decidedly more competitive field, she recorded her best-ever times with a 2:24 in the 800, placing fourth, and a 5:05 in the 1,500, placing fifth. These times also place her in the National Youth Elite Ranking System Honor Roll, which recognizes top 100 runners.Rinne is looking to improve her national standing even further, hoping to place in the top 20 at the USATF Junior Olympic Nationals in Wichita. For the past two summers, she has been training under the expert tutelage of Diana Yale, a former prep and collegiate mid-distance champion. Rinne looks forward to joining the cross country, Nordic and track teams as a freshman next year at Truckee High School.andamp;#8212; This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at swright@sierrasun.com.