Pinnick won't run for Waubonsie Valley
In startling news with ramifications not only for the Waubonsie Valley girls track team but also for downstate competition, all-state senior Shakeia Pinnick has left the Warriors.
Deidre Pinnick, Shakeia's mother, notified the Daily Herald on Friday that she and husband Roderick Pinnick have pulled their daughter from the squad.
Deidre Pinnick said Shakeia had been told by Warriors coach Jim Braun she would not be eligible to run at meets if she did not attend daily practice. Mrs. Pinnick said conflicts with weekly Thursday tutoring sessions made that impossible.
"As a parent, I have to take academics first," said Deidre Pinnick, who added that Shakeia's private training sessions with Aurora Flyers Track Club coaches Tom Boatright and Walter Nelson were also an issue of contention.
Braun disputed her claim he placed practice before academics with the senior, who according to her mother has a 3.4 grade-point average.
"It's not about tutoring, and anybody who knows me and my stance on education would know that," said the Warriors' fifth-year coach. He noted that Pinnick would be welcomed back to the team "if she wants to."
Shakeia Pinnick said she would not have run at Saturday's Warrior Invite "because (Braun) said he doesn't think I'm ready and also because he said I'm missing too many practices."
Pinnick, who chose a full scholarship from 2007 national outdoor champion Arizona State out of a field that included Arkansas, LSU, Michigan, Oregon and Texas A&M, holds seven different school records.
In addition to five championships at the Illinois Prep Top Times Indoor Classic, Pinnick has eight all-state finishes at IHSA outdoor state championships. She was runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles each of the last three years.
Her versatility enabled her to win the 2007 AAU National Championship in heptathlon, and she won the pentathlon at the Nike Indoor Championship on March 14.
Pinnick will continue to train to enter open college meets. Upcoming opportunities include next weekend's Volunteer Track Classic in Tennessee, the Drake Relays on April 23-25 and the University of Illinois Invitational on May 2.
Pinnick, who said her leaving the team was between her parents and Braun, admits to sadness that she'll miss the fun of high school track and field.
"Either way," she said, "it will work out."