Patrick Pinchinat is one of the top returning sprinters in the state this year. Last indoor season, he helped the Rockets win countless relays and was the top Montgomery County finisher in the 55-meter dash at the Montgomery Invitational. During the outdoor season, he won the 100-meter dash at the Montgomery County Championship in 11.01 and placed 8th in the state in the same event. This year he will try to carry his team to another successful season after the loss of several key seniors. He tells mocorunning about the good times last year, which events he hopes to compete in this year, and how he plans to become the dominant sprinter in Montgomery County.
MoCoRunning: How is it going, Patrick? It's senior year. Are you ready for your final indoor and outdoor track season?
Pinchinat: I am ready. This year I will get a better start into the season because last year I had a high ankle sprain but I still ran for the team. I canít wait for the season to begin. I have high hopes for our track team this year.
MoCoRunning: For those of us that don't follow, how did football go this year?
Pinchinat: I had a good football season this year. I finished the season with 1,722 yards. Our team was .500 and nothing hurt more then our last loss when we played undefeated Northwest. That was the last time I was going to play on that field and with my teammates, which became like family to me.
MoCoRunning: Speaking of senior year, what are your plans after graduation? After a terrific junior year in track, I'm sure you've got a few college coaches calling you.
Pinchinat: I have not made my decisions about plans after graduation. I donít know if am going to focus on football or track and if I want to lift to get faster or lift to get bigger but I have some colleges looking at me for football as well as track. The schools that are looking at me are Maryland, JMU, Towson, Temple, NCCU, Louisville, and a couple others are going to make my decision this year. You never know, maybe I will try to join Bret Ligon at Rutgers
MoCoRunning: You had a fantastic year in track in '06, but you only won one major race all season: the 100m county title. Do you think that you will be the fastest man in MoCo with that Crutchfield guy out of the way? What have you done to make yourself the man to beat for this upcoming track season?
Pinchinat: With all the seniors graduating including Keenan, the competition only gets easier, but there is still going to be competition. Look out for Jamal Lynn from Seneca Valley. He is finally eligible and is going to be running the sprints this year. He went to middle school with me and every time we ran, we were neck and neck.
This year there is more focus on track. Last year I would hide when we would warm up and sometimes I would not push myself in pratice. This year I am pushing myself because not only am I trying to win in the 55, 100, and 200, but the 400 is now becoming my better race.
MoCoRunning: The Rockets were the dominant team in Montgomery County for virtually the entire indoor and outdoor seasons, but you lose a few superstars in Bret Ligon, Keenan Crutchfield, and Matt Miller. Can RM stay on top of Montgomery County this year? Why or why not?
Pinchinat: Matt, Keenan, and Bret were huge contributors to the track team. All of them earned us points in every meet including states. They're all fun people to be around. I miss Bret's dancing, Keenan's cheesy smile, and Matt's jokes. But RM is still going to be the team to beat; we are going to have people step up this year. We are just missing one person in our 4*200 meter relay that won states.
MoCoRunning: There were high expectations of RM at last year's outdoor state championship and things looked great when you won the 4x200, and you and Crutchfield qualified for the 100m finals. And then nothing seemed to go well on the final day. What happened?
Pinchinat: Alot of thing went bad during and before the race. I still had the high ankle sprain and Keenan pulled his hamstring during the race. There was a big picture in the Gazette of him holding his hamstring during the race and he made the weirdest facial expression. I was joking about it with him for days.
MoCoRunning: Last year you won the quadrathlon at the Katie Jenkins Invitational late in the outdoor season, proving yourself as possibly the most versatile athlete in the county. What was it like competing in some different events? What kind of times and marks did you put up in that competition?
Pinchinat: Doing the quadrathlon at Katie Jenkins was just something I did for fun. Mr. Wheeler asked me if I would want to do the quadrathlon. I told him I would love doing it but then he told me I would have to run a 1500 and my mouth dropped. I gave it a second thought and was like...yeah. I know who ever beat me in distance would not beat me in the 400. At the meet, I got 1st in the 400 with the time of 50.4, 1st in the Long Jump, 3rd in the Discus and I donít know what I got in the 1500...lol.
MoCoRunning: Would you like to compete in different events more often this season...perhaps the jumps, which you've dabbled in?
Pinchinat: Last year I did alot of jumping events but this year I donít expect to do any because every time I jumped I would re-injure my ankle. Usually in dual meets I would just get one jump in, but I'm going to be doing events you wonít expect me to do. Itís a surprise.
MoCoRunning: There are rumors of you moving up to the 800m this year. What's that all about?
Pinchinat: I'm going to be running a couple 4*800 meter relays and 800 to help the team and also prepare me for the 400.... dang I just ruined the surprise. It's no wonder nobody tells me secrets.
MoCoRunning: What do you want to focus on during indoor season?
Pinchinat: I think the 400 is going to be my main event this year and that is what I'm training for. During the summer in outdoor track I had an open leg split of 49.1 and hopefully this year I get down to running 48. I'm also going to try to compete in the 55, and 300.
MoCoRunning: What are your ultimate goals before graduation?
Pinchinat: My ultimate goal has been the same since freshmen year: to be a state champion as a team and get the rings so I can show my kids and they can tell their friends. I will be the cool dad.
MoCoRunning: Relays or open events?
Pinchinat: I love open events but relays are so much fun to run as well as watch because anything can happen. I have seen the best races when people have a big lead then someone comes from behind and the crowd yells, "Whoop!!! Whooooop!!! Whoop!!!" And the person behind catches up to first place and wins. Those are the races I love to watch. And plus when you win your relay race, you can share the victory with your relay team. 1st place by yourself is not as much fun as doing it with your teammates.
MoCoRunning: Penn Relays: USA or Jamaica?
Pinchinat: Lol ...my team will tell you I cheer for Jamaica because my parents are from Jamaica. I remember two years ago in the 2004 Penn Relays in the USA versus the world. The track was real wet because it was raining and they ran the 4*400 meter dash. In the last leg, USA was winning and Jamaica was second and then the anchor leg for USA tripped over the medal rails that separated the track. Jamaica flew past him and won. I went crazy...I was so happy I rubbed it in my teammates' faces that whole year. But USA beat them the next year. Might I add my man Asafa Powell jogged the last 10 meters in the 100 meter dash and still won in like 10.2.
Thanks for interveiwing me. I hope to put on a show in indoor and outdoor track.
1st Photo: Patrick Pinchinat, Maryland State Championship, 5/26/2006, by John Roemer
2nd Photo: Patrick Pinchinat, Katie Jenkins Invitational, 5/6/2006, by Kevin Gaffney