TACOMA - Sehome distance runner Emily Pittis may not love covering 3,200 meters of track, but there's no denying her distance-running skill.
Pittis had to wait until day three of the Class 2A-3A-4A State Track and Field Championships, but the two-time cross country champ claimed her gold medal with a dominating performance in the girls' 2A 3,200-meter final Saturday, May 31, at Mount Tahoma High School, solidifying back-to-back titles in the event.
"It's crazy to say that," said Pittis of the 3,200 being her specialty, "because I feel like it's not my favorite race at all, but it's ended up as one of my strongest races. It's a great way to end."
Pittis clocked in with a 10:59.81, and the win came after earlier in the day placing sixth in the 800 - a new event she competed in this spring. Pittis placed second in the 1,600 on Thursday.
"I really needed this," Pittis said of her win. "It's been a good state, but it's been a really hard state and running the 800 and having that weird race today and coming out of that, I was so motivated."
And Pittis proved her will to win.
The Sehome junior moved to the front of the pack two laps in and kept East Valley-Spokane's Brittany Aquino a few steps behind her through the first 2,400 meters before Pittis began pulling away.
"I was a bit freaked out because it was kind of early," said Pittis of when she took the lead. "I felt pressure from behind, and I know the girls behind me, and I know how fast they are and how motivated they were, so I just said, 'I got to take it. I got to go with it.'"
Pittis picked her pace up during the final 100 meters and crossed the finish line uncontested.
"I wanted to get under 11," Pittis said. "It's not a PR, but I feel happy about it. A lot of times at state, if it's a win, I'm going to be happy about it no matter what time it is."
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.