Pettigrew making strong impression as a freshman

Brad Frank and Brad Frank

If hard work is all that matters, Jeanette Pettigrew is going to be very successful.

Already in her short career at BG, the freshman has shown the ability of a standout track athlete and the work ethic of a successful veteran.

Pettigrew won her first ever collegiate event, the 60 meter dash, at the BGSU Challenge last month, and won the event a week later at the Jane Herrmann Invitational.

Last month, she was a two-time nominee for Mid-American Conference Track Athlete of the Week.

Her season-best of 7.67 seconds currently stands less than two-tenths of a second behind the school record.

She also was a part of the 4×400 meter relay team that placed first in the team’s second meet of the season.

Even before demonstrating the ability to contribute to success in both team and individual events, Pettigrew knew how important her teammates were to her. The team is quite close, despite being so large and so varied with field athletes, sprinters and distance runners.

“I need my teammates. When somebody is in doubt, there’s someone there to pick you up,” she said. “We help each other stay positive. We help motivate each other as a team.”

For most freshman athletes, the uncertainty at the start of their college careers leaves them without the confidence they showed while dominating in high school.

Pettigrew said she was no different entering her first two meets of the season.

“I’m not going to say I did expect it, but I’m not going to say that I didn’t expect it,” Pettigrew said, in regard to beginning her career with the success she had. “Let’s just say this; I know my best will get me somewhere.”

Her best has proven to be quite impressive for a freshman. Pettigrew credits that to the hard work she has put in regardless of the level of confidence she has.

“I’m not going to leave the races up to my confidence,” Pettigrew said. “I’ll just leave it up to my hard work, because that’s what got me here in the first place.

“I’m just working to accomplish whatever I can. My main goal is to go 100 percent, keep putting in hard work all the time and see where that takes me.”

With more than three seasons left, her career seems to have no ceiling at this point.

With continued hard work, Pettigrew could be one of the most consistent scorers in recent BG history.

BG coach Cami Wells commented on the key for an athlete to both begin a career like Pettigrew as well as sustain that success from season to season.

“The more successful and confident an athlete is from the start, the more they can build on that confidence and success,” she said. “The key for all our athletes is to stay healthy, work hard and compete with confidence. Jeanette has the natural ability, work ethic and competitiveness needed.”

Pettigrew sat out the Tom Wright Classic on Saturday with an injured hamstring, but is expected to return to action in the team’s next meet.

The team will not travel to South Bend, Ind., this weekend for the Meyo Invitational in order to rest in preparation for the All-Ohio Championships in Bowling Green the following weekend.