Whittell cross country’s Harrison, Petty compete at 1A/2A State championships
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The Whittell cross country team took two runners to state — and coach Robin DeSota was “thrilled” with their performances. Junior Nick Petty and sophomore Jamie Harrison raced in the 1A/2A State championships at Craig Ranch Regional Park on Saturday, Nov. 5, and both delivered personal records.
The predictably flat Las Vegas course instilled confidence in the Whittell runners who train in the hills and altitude of Lake Tahoe. The temperature in the low 70s presented perfect conditions for both runners to set personal records over the 5,000-meter course.
Petty and Harrison went out hard at state, but were met with a fast pace. They began in the back of the pack of 49 runners, but each looked strong from the start — perhaps the strongest they had all season.
On the three-lap course, it was apparent by the end of the second lap that the pack had gone out too fast. At that point, the Warriors’ runners started picking off competitors as their stamina prevailed.
In the third lap, Harrison stretched out his running to pass 10 athletes and run a personal-best 19:06 to finish in 34th place — more than a minute faster than his previous top time. Petty finished 40th with a personal-best time of 19:36 while sporting new, bright red running shoes.
At regionals on Oct. 28, the Warriors’ boys team missed out on qualifying for state by two points — just two places in the field of 85 runners. Petty (10th, 20:12) and Harrison (13th, 20:20) made it as individuals, and flew down to state with their first-year coach DeSota — a former runner at Cal Poly.
On the girls side at regionals, Whittell delivered a solid season-ending performance through the mud and rain at Shadow Mountain Sports Complex in Sparks, Nevada. Senior Marissa Maidman missed out on qualifying for state by one spot, finishing 21st overall by running a 27:40.
“To be so close to making state as a team or as an individual is tough, but we are very proud of Jamie and Nick who ran smart and solid races at state,” DeSota said. “We have most of our runners returning next year, so we are optimistic about the future.”