TIM PEELER: Tinsley Hopes to Erase Bitter Memories
BY TIM PEELER
“When I was in sixth grade, my older sister started running in middle school,” Tinsley says. “I didn’t understand why anyone would want to go running. I thought it was stupid.”
But as Tinsley, who stands barely five feet tall now as a college junior, got a little older, she realized her dream of being a basketball star was probably pretty remote. So she laced up her sneakers, and followed in her sister’s footsteps.
“I ended up trying it, and now I love it,” says Tinsley, a junior on the NC State women’s track team from Russells Point, Ohio.
With her training schedule, she must. Tinsley has upped her weekly mileage to approximately 70 as she trains to be a front-runner on the Wolfpack defending ACC-champion women’s cross country team, along with sophomore Bona Jones and senior Angelina Blackmon.
They are all looking to replace the leadership and productively lost with the departure of graduated All-America Julia Lucas, who finished fifth in the NCAA Cross Country Championship last year.
This weekend, Wolfpack head coach Laurie Henes takes her team to the NCAA Pre-National race in
“I was really, really sick,” Tinsley said. “I couldn’t eat or drink anything. I couldn’t keep anything in my system. I couldn’t even fly back home with the team. I had to ride back with my parents, which was possibly the longest car ride ever. For the next week, I did nothing but lay on the couch.”
Already slight in stature, Tinsley lost nearly 10 pounds, or 10 percent of her body weight.
But what has stuck with her throughout the spring track seasons and through the summer was not the illness, but the disappointment of finishing near the end of the race. In the off-season, she increased her mileage from 60-to-65 miles a week to more than 70. As the 2007 season gets into full swing, she hopes to erase the bitter memories of how last season ended, beginning with the race this weekend.
“My whole goal is to continue to run at a high level, to try to improve and get faster,” she says. “Hopefully, I will have a better season than I did last year.”
Henes has high expectations for Tinsley, as well, both on the course and off. She has seen a marked improvement in Tinsley’s leadership abilities, after spending most of the last two years in Lucas’ shadow. Tinsley, Blackmon and Jones have all taken charge of the team.
She’s even learned to take a day off here and there when Henes instructs her to, in an effort to remain healthy following some minor hip problems that limited her training during the indoor and outdoor track seasons.
You may contact Tim Peeler at email@example.com.