Davis, Pettner hope to have some fun in Levelland

May 05, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

Ryan Davis describes Levelland, Texas, as "red-hot, dusty, dry, all windy, just horrible. It's the worst place to have a track meet."

Funny how the Hagerstown Community College sophomore said he's heading there "to go have fun."

Davis and freshman teammate Allen Pettner are set to compete Thursday at the NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at South Plains College in Levelland.

For the second straight year, Davis, a 2002 Washington County Technical High School graduate who ran for Clear Spring, will run the 10,000 meters at nationals. Pettner, a 2003 James Buchanan graduate, will compete in the javelin.


Last year's trip to nationals wasn't overly fun for Davis. He finished 11th in 34 minutes, 11 seconds - the worst time of his career. His personal record for the event is 32:43. His best time this season is 33:04, which has him seeded 14th. Butler County's David Cheromei is seeded first at 30:51.

"Last year, I went in really optimistic and ended up running slower than some of my training runs," Davis said. "This year, I want to place better than 11th and would definitely like to run a much better time. I'm just going to race, to hang on and race."

Davis and Pettner each said the ultimate goal is to place in the top six and earn All-America status.

Pettner, who placed fifth in the javelin at the PIAA Class AA state meet last spring, is seeded eighth with his school-record distance of 183 feet, 4 inches. He set his high school's record last year at 184-5.

South Plains' Jamie Robinson is seeded first at 193-8, a distance Pettner thinks he can reach.

"I know I've thrown that already this season, but I just haven't had it marked," Pettner said. "I feel I am capable of throwing over 200."

Obviously, there'd be no better place to reach maximum capabilities than in Levelland.

"The end-all, be-all is nationals," HCC coach Rich Secrest said.

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