October 16, 1997

All-Season Athlete Lc Senior Jessica Dinneen Competes In Soccer, Track And Downhill Skiing

Nathan Joyce Correspondent
 

Lewis and Clark’s Jessica Dinneen is truly an athlete for all seasons.

In the summer and fall she’s tearing up the soccer field, in the winter she’s an accomplished downhill skier, and in the spring she competes on the track team.

Despite staying busy with all that, Dinneen sports a 3.7 grade-point average.

“My parents keep me in line,” she said.

According to her coach, Ardy Khoei, it’s Dinneen who, as team captain, helps her teammates stay in line.

“She really lifts her teammates,” he said. “She’s more a quiet player, leads by example, the way she plays, never quits.”

Dinneen has been off to a hot start playing inside/outside halfback for the Tigers this season, scoring nine goals in her first nine games and racking several assists. Dinneen is quick to give her teammates credit for her fast start.

“I just try to find the weak side, and they just get me the ball,” she said.

“I think her greatest asset, other than her God-given talent, is her work ethic,” said Khoei. “She can literally run for 80 minutes.

“She’ll run until the referees tell her to stop.”

A four-year letter-winner for LC, Dinneen began her soccer career when she was just 8 years old playing for recreation teams. She went on to play for club teams, something she still does.

For the past two years she has been a member of the Spokane Soccer Club Falcons, a premiere team, and has played in tournaments as far away as San Diego.

But when the snow flies, Dinneen hits the ski slopes.

She’s been racing competitively for six years and was good enough to make the Junior Olympics last year in Alaska. She finished 37th out of the 100 or so athletes there.

In the spring you can find Dinneen on the track, where she specializes in the long jump and 300-meter hurdles. She’s also been known to run on relay teams and do the high jump when her coaches are desperate for points.

Dinneen’s personal bests of 16-foot-5 in the long jump and 47 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles were good enough to get her to regionals last season, before injuries hampered her progress.

Dinneen’s athletic talent must be in the genes, as her twin brother Tyrone is a three-sport athlete like his sister.

The twins have two sports in common: They both play soccer and ski. Tyrone also plays football.

A South Hill native, Dinneen’s father, Bill, works as an insurance agent and her mother, Merilee, does asthma research when she’s not volunteering her time to the school or charities.

A senior, Dinneen is undecided about her college plans. She’d like to go somewhere in-state to begin with but eventually would like to travel abroad.

“It would be fun, I think, to go somewhere like Spain,” she said.

, DataTimes


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