• Rinne's attention to detail yields success

  • Corinne Rinne doesn’t take a typical approach to running races.

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  • Corinne Rinne doesn’t take a typical approach to running races.
    That urge most runners have to sprint as hard as possible at the start and hopefully make it across the finish line without collapsing? Well, Rinne puts a little more thought into it than that.
    “Corinne’s a really smart runner,” said Blue Springs girls cross country coach Joe Schur. “I’ll ask her what her race strategy would be and almost always what she would tell me would be something that I was going to tell her.”
    That approach boosted the junior to one of the top local state finishes as she came in 60th with a time of 20 minutes, 26.78 seconds, and it helped her snag The Examiner’s female Cross Country Runner of the Year award.
    For Rinne, cross country is about much more than running. It’s about knowing her opponents, studying the course and applying the strategy that will be most effective.
    One of the best examples of Rinne’s method came during this year’s Blue Springs Invitational at Lake Jacomo. Rinne was slow off the line, running her first mile at a moderate pace. It being the first 5-kilometer race of the season, a throng of runners burst off to unsustainable tempos and Rinne slowly started picking them off one by one over the final two miles. She crossed sixth with a time of 20:34.
    It’s not always easy implementing that technique, Rinne said, but it comes down to trusting her abilities.
    “It’s hard when you see all those people pass you and there’s that moment of, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Rinne said. “But I just try to think, there are people that go out too fast and I’ve ran this pace before and it’s worked. Just stick to that. That’s what I replay through my head so I don’t freak myself out.”
    Schur said he hasn’t coached too many runners who understand their potential and know their limits like Rinne. Each week during the season Schur has his runners fill out goal sheets the day before a meet. Nearly every time, Rinne would be within five seconds of her target time.
    “Things like that, where she was always so close to picking exactly what she could do, were just amazing,” Schur said.
    Rinne also progressed throughout the season, peaking with a personal best 19:40 and 16th-place finish at sectional. Not bad considering she never cracked 21 minutes and wasn’t even in the top 50 in previous seasons.
    Her season was especially satisfying since her sophomore year was sideswiped by a hip injury.
    “It was hard to deal with because everyone was having all this success and I was stuck inside not knowing what to do,” Rinne said. “It took a toll on how I looked at races after that because I was never happy with what I was doing. It was like, ‘This is where I was (as a freshman) and this is where I am now.’
    Page 2 of 2 - “But the team was always behind me. It eventually worked out, but it was stressful.”
    Rinne noted that while she was personally discouraged during that injury-plagued year, she was still proud that the Cats were able to take a team to state, where they finished 11th. Getting an entire squad back to Jefferson City is already on her list of goals heading into her senior campaign.
    “She’s just a great kid to coach and fun to be around,” Schur said. “She’s just one of those kids that sets a great example for the rest of our program.”

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