TACOMA - When Sehome sophomore Emily Pittis awoke Saturday morning, May 25, she wasn't feeling good at all. A cold that she had been battling had gotten worse over-night.
But you never would have known it by the way she ran the final 600 meters of the girls' 3,200 at the Class 2A State Track and Field Championships.
Pittis hit the gas over the final lap and a half and left the rest of the field in her wake, winning in a school-record time of 10 minutes, 52.46 seconds.
"I think it's just what comes with that state mentality," Pittis said of the late push. "You have nothing left to run. You don't have another race to give it to, especially this one. I don't even know how you find it in yourself; you just have to."
Pittis, who said she's still relatively new to the two mile, said she didn't want to lead early in the race, as she deferred to Burlington-Edison's RaynJoy Norton and even fell behind defending state champion Sanne Holland from Cheney.
But when she felt Norton trying to put some distance on her, Pittis responded by turning up the wick.
She passed Norton entering the third turn over the penultimate lap and held about a 5-meter advantage by the start-finish line. By they time she reached the backstretch, the advantage had more than doubled and continued to grow, as she ran her first sub-11-minute race.
"I didn't look back, so I had no clue where they were," Pittis said. "You just have to act like there's somebody behind you. I didn't even know how far they are. You can kind of gauge by the cheers."
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.