Cale Pirtle didn’t sound like a guy coming off a win in a weekend race. Maybe it’s because those are the kind of results he expects.
The East Jackson senior claimed his first win of the 2011 season with a first-place finish in the Mountain Eagle Invitational out of 90 runners with an 18:31. For his efforts, Pirtle has been named the MainStreet Newspapers boys’ Runner of the Week by area coaches.
“It probably wasn’t the best I could do,” Pirtle said matter-of-factly of the win. “But I felt pretty good about it. I was basically out for what I was going for.”
Pirtle — who ran at state last year and finished 38th (18:22) — is a runner who has high expectations every time he takes to the course.
His best time this year came at the season-opening Northeast Georgia Championships at Athens Christian where he ran a 17:57. That race was nice but still not where he wants to be.
“It’s closer … but it’s not what I’m expecting,” Pirtle said. “It’s not bad either.”
Pirtle has been involved in running in one form or another since middle school. At the urging of friends and coaches, he took up track in seventh grade and then joined the East Jackson cross country team as a sophomore. Now as a senior, Pirtle, whose personal best is 17:11, wants to break 17 minutes “and see where I can go from there.”
Hopefully the next level.
One of Pirtle’s main goals is to run collegiately, so he’s hoping for a big senior season.
“I’m hoping to see if anybody offers me any scholarships this year,” Pirtle said.
North Georgia Tech is one school he hopes shows some interest. That program, after all, is coached by Bob Roller, who retired last year as East Jackson’s cross country coach.
In the meantime, Pirtle has his goals in sight for his final year.
“I’m wanting to make it to state,” Pirtle said. “I’m hoping for a top 10.”
GIRLS WINNER: Winder-Barrrow’s Amanda Cope was named the MainStreet Newspapers girls’ Runner of the Week after she took seventh at the University of Georgia Invitational with a 19:55. The MainStreet Newspapers coverage area includes Barrow, Jackson, Banks and Madison Counties.