Profile: San Dieguito's Jenna Timinsky

This track standout from northern San Diego County also knows how to succeed in the classroom with a 4.2 GPA

One person has scored enough points in the California Interscholastic Federation state track meet to win the team title. But a one-person track team is not what Jenna Timinsky had in mind when she was a sophomore two years ago at San Dieguito Academy of Encinitas, Calif.

As a freshman, Timinsky benefitted from training with senior Jessica Bray, who at the time was the CIF Div. IV cross country champion. Then Bray graduated and Timinsky was pretty much on her own.

"I was the only girl, so I had to practice with the boys," Timinsky recalled. "But the boys were not even good workout partners. We couldn't go off campus at all, either. We'd spend hour after hour just running around the track. I was not happy at all."

Prior to her junior season, Timinsky's situation could have been gotten worse as San Dieguito had no track coach at all. Then her father, Gary, stepped in and said he'd do the coaching. Jenna and the school's track program in general have flourished ever since.

"It was two weeks prior to the season and they couldn't find anybody," Gary Timinsky said. "I had been to a few coaching clinics and just decided to try it."

Another coach, Bryan Anderson, has since come on board and the combined boys and girls team at San Dieguito now boasts 60 athletes.

Jenna Timinsky also has developed into one of the finest middle distance runners in the nation. She finished second at the recent Arcadia Invitational in the 800 and clocked 2:09.12, which was the top time in California heading into May. Timinsky also had a best of 4:55.72 in the 1600, which was among the top six in the state.

Last year, Timinsky was among the state leaders early in the season in the 800, but finished well behind Shannon Rowbury from San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral in the CIF state meet final. She thinks that will be different this year.

"I am trying not to do too much early this season, so I'll have a lot more confidence at the end of the season," she said. "I also might do run a little more in the mile to increase my strength in the 800."

If intelligence is required for Timinsky to reach her goals on the track, she's got that covered and then some. She's compiled a 4.2 GPA, including three Advanced Placement classes for the current spring semester. She's only gotten two Bs in her high school career, both science classes, but has made them up with honors classes in other subjects.

Timinsky is headed to national power UCLA in the fall, but won't get a full-ride scholarship until the following year. She wants to major in journalism.

"I looked at a bunch of Ivy League schools and took visits to Duke, Arkansas and Stanford," she said. "I just think I wanted to stay closer to home. Those long plane rides alone did not sound good."

Of course, with her dad being her coach, maybe staying closer to home didn't have much to do with airports after all.

"I really wouldn't have done it any other way," Gary Timinsky said. "It's been great for Jenna and I. It's been great we've gotten to travel so much together. It's been great for our relationship."

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