Richmond Hill’s Daryn Petitt won the AAAAA 800-meter run at the girls’ state track meet Saturday and finished fifth in the 1,600 Friday, setting personal bests in both races. But she also participates in another sport that involves an oval: roller derby.
“It’s definitely different from track,” she said. “Let’s just say it’s a lot more aggressive.”
Petitt competes for the SK8 City Sirens in Pooler, a co-ed team made up of girls and boys ages 10-17.
“It’s a lot of fun and helps with training for track because of all the leg work,” Petitt said.
Petitt, a junior, won the 800 in 2:14.4 after having the fastest qualifying time during Thursday’s heats.
“I like the 800 better because I feel more confident running it,” she said. “You go fast for two laps and don’t have to pace yourself.”
Her time of 5:10.7 in the 1,600 bested her personal record by two seconds. By finishing in the top eight she garnered All-State for that race.
“I was disappointed I didn’t do better,” she said. “A girl passed me right at the end. She kind of ‘pulled a me’ because I usually have a pretty good kick at the end.”
Petitt said her 800 victory is still sinking in.
“I’m really happy about it,” she said. “All that training paid off.”
Petitt, a junior, is already looking forward to next season. She also runs cross country and would like to compete in college.
“I definitely want to make the podium again and really want to win both,” she said.
Her teammate, Mackenzie Frei, finished ninth in the high jump.
Richmond Hill Coach Levi Sybert said the experience or participating in the state meet will benefit both of them next season.
“I think Mackenzie will see some large growth when she returns next year, as typically the second year at state is much better than the first,” he said. “Daryn was 14th in both the 800 and 1,600 last year (at the state meet). This year, first and fifth with an improvement of 21 seconds in the 1,600 and 15 seconds in the 800. Her strive for domination started at the first team practice of the year and it was very apparent.”
Ginger Roop, a junior from Bryan County, qualified in the AA 800-meter run but did not advance past her heat.
“I am very proud of Ginger,” Redskins Coach Blake Nesmith said. “She transferred to BCHS just after the start of track season. She had been running track at her previous school, but had never advanced to state.
“She is a very hard worker and has a ton of confidence,” Nesmith added. “I think with another year of training to go with the experience she gained this year, she is definitely a state contender for next season.”
The boys’ state track meet is Thursday through Saturday.
Quran George qualified for Bryan County in the 110-meter hurdles and triple jump. For Richmond Hill, Sam James and Demond Fleming qualified in the 400 and teamed with Jordan Perkins and Shane Rowand in the 4x400 while Matthew Jones qualified in the 800 and Asael Hernandez-Loredo in discus.