Luke Reinke was impressed. The Glenelg senior liked Duke University so much that he applied early.
"The kids are academically talented, but they seem like they want to do other things, as well," Reinke said.
And that's Reinke. Smart -- 4.0 grade-point average, 1,430 Scholastic Assessment Test score -- and always doing something.
Take Wednesday, for example. After a day of advanced placement courses, Reinke was just getting started when school let out at 2 p.m. He first practiced with the Madrigals -- he's the singing group's student director. Then he went to a short play rehearsal. Glenelg will perform "The Music Man" in February, and, you guessed it, Reinke is "The Man."
A member of the indoor track team, Reinke then went out and ran. Reinke is coming off a good performance at last Friday's Top Flight Meet at the Fifth Regiment Armory, where he won the 1,600 in 4: 43.6 and 500 in 2: 09.
After running, he went home, practiced a little piano -- he's been taking lessons for nine years. Then came dinner. He returned to school for another play rehearsal. He was home by 10: 45 p.m.
Reinke is vice president of the school's National Honor Society chapter. He also sings in the school choir and accompanies the group on the piano at concerts. He doesn't rest on Sundays. He teaches Sunday School to third graders at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Woodbine.
"It's a rare person [who] can balance so many things and do so well," said Glenelg boys indoor track coach Roger Volrath.
And that's Reinke.
"Every once in a while it gets to me, but never for an extended period of time," said Reinke of his busy lifestyle. "But it's all worth it. There's nothing I would drop at this point."
Reinke's mother, Kate, a former art teacher in the county, told him in middle school that he should go out for track. His mother liked the sport and thought it would fit her son's personality.
But he didn't start then. It wasn't until his freshman year at Glenelg that he tried indoor track.
"I ran one meet and embarrassed myself," Reinke said. "I didn't do any more." He decided not to run outdoors, as well.
Reinke always had thought of himself more as a soccer player. He started playing in third grade and had improved to the travel-team level. He started his freshman and sophomore seasons as a forward on the JV.
But when he was a sophomore, at the same time Reinke was cast as "the young fool" in "Big River," the school's winter play and his first acting stint, his track interest picked up.
"It was a transition year," said Reinke, who runs the 800, mile and relay races in indoor. "It went from just something to do to something to be really dedicated to."
His inclusion on the on the 4 x 800 (two-mile) relay team was very important. He felt closer to the team -- and worked harder.
"I saw myself getting better, and I saw the opportunity to excel," said Reinke, whose 4 x 800 indoor relay team finished second in state.
Unlike the year before, Reinke decided to run outdoors his sophomore season.
Reinke started at fullback on the varsity soccer team his junior season and continued to improve in track. In fact, he enjoyed track so much that soccer no longer was his top sport.
"Last year, I really got serious about track. I started thinking about doing it after high school," said Reinke. Last year, when he was a junior, the 4 x 800 relay team won the state outdoor championship.
"Right now, I'd say I'm good," Reinke said about his running ability. "I have the possibility to be very good but wouldn't call myself very good right now."
Reinke knows that Centennial's Jeff Olenick stands in his way of winning the county mile, and teammate Chris Selmer does the same in the 800. But Reinke never will give up.
"I've never been the best in anything. I've never really won anything," said Reinke, who with Selmer co-captains the indoor team. "It's not that important to me, but it would be nice to be the best in something or to win something."
Of course, Reinke already is a winner.
Duke thought so. It accepted him. He will study bio-medical engineering and hopes to go to medical school. He wants to be a pediatrician.
"I like working with little kids," Reinke said.
And staying busy.
Pub Date: 1/12/97