Gophers’ Temi Ogunrinde stays busy with track and field, campus groups

Ogunrinde is the program’s leader in hammer throw and president of the student-athlete advisory committee.

Temi Ogunrinde holds up a medal during the Big Ten Championship on May 12, 2017. 

Courtesy of Becky Miller, Gopher Athletics

Temi Ogunrinde holds up a medal during the Big Ten Championship on May 12, 2017. 

Kaleb Medhanie

Redshirt junior Temi Ogunrinde is the Gophers’ all-time leader in the hammer throw, but track and field is just one part of her life on Minnesota’s campus.

Ogunrinde won the hammer throw at the Beach Invitational on April 19 with a personal record throw of 221 feet, 3 inches. She is also the president of the student-athlete advisory committee, which helps oversee events with the athletics department.

“I got into it because a lot of teammates were in it and I did student council in high school, and I really liked the idea of making change and being a part of something big,” Ogunrinde said. “There was also a big meeting in Chicago and I wanted to go to Chicago for a few days, I’m not going to lie.”

Ogunrinde is part of the black student-athlete association and is involved with Athletes in Action, a sports ministry on campus. She holds Bible studies with other student-athletes. 

“A couple girls on the team and I wanted an outlet to pursue my faith and to have a community with girls and guys who also wanted to as well,” Ogunrinde said. 

With how active she is on campus with groups and her sport, Ogunrinde said her weeks can get stressful. After taking advice from roommate Wilsonique Delson, Ogunrinde picked up a new hobby: coloring. She went on Amazon and spent $35 on colored pencils and coloring books, including a Disney-themed book.

Ogunrinde was also active in high school. She played soccer, basketball and track through her time at Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. She was a sprinter in track and field at her high school and for the Gophers before switching to throwing.

She transitioned to becoming a thrower when head coach Matt Bingle recommended it after the fall of her freshman year. It was a different world for her since her athletic focus changed from endurance to lifting. Ogunrinde said the toughest part of the switch was the social aspect.

“All my friends were naturally sprinters because I practiced with them; I didn’t know the throwers,” Ogunrinde said. “I did not know anything or anyone, so that was really hard in the beginning, because I had to start over again.”

When she’s done with school and her track career is over, Ogunrinde hopes to have accomplished a couple of things — to bring home a Big Ten team title, a individual hammer title and also to do better in the NCAAs since she didn’t perform how she wanted. Not only that, but she also wants to attend the Humphrey School of Affairs for graduate school.

“I’m really passionate about nonprofit and making a difference, whether that’s with the homeless or … inner-city education or police brutality,” Ogunrinde said. “I want do something with that.”