For many, times and distances tell the story in a track and field meet.
|BGSU’s Jeanette Pettigrew (center) holds the school record in the 200 as well as the 400 relay, 800 relay and indoor 60. (Photo courtesy BGSU Athletics Communications Office)
However, Jeanette Pettigrew has a different outlook.
And it is working for Pettigrew, a graduate student, using her fifth year of eligibility with the Bowling Green State University women's track and field team.
''For me, every competition I just strive to learn from it,'' Pettigrew said. ''It's not really about the times for me right now, it's more so that I execute - did I get what I wanted out if it? Did I maintain my discipline and my focus?
''That's success for me because a lot of times I got caught up, in my younger stages when I was less developed, I was focusing on the times and everything and being pressured with that,'' she continued. ''I think that hindered me a little bit, because if I didn't get what I wanted I was just left there with frustration.
''It's not black and white, it's a gray area that I am working to achieve. So when I get that, I feel everything else comes together.''
She is one of the most decorated sprinters in BGSU history, holding the school record in the 200 as well as the 400 relay, 800 relay and indoor 60.
Pettigrew redshirted for one season, battling an injury, and graduated in four years from Bowling Green. She's in school working on her master's in sports psychology, and excelling in the sprints and the long jump.
''I am very happy that I did (redshirt one season), because I would not have guessed that all this success would have come,'' she said.
She was the Mid-American Conference indoor champion in the 60 this winter. Pettigrew also competed in the 200, 1,600 relay and long jump at the conference meet.
Pettigrew is coming off a big weekend at the Hillsdale College Gina Relays. She ran the fastest 100 time on the MAC this spring (11.61), won the long jump (19-8 1/4 ), ran a leg on the second-place 400 relay team, and finished third in the 200 in a wind-aided time of 23.75.
''That was a great meet, because I felt I executed what I wanted,'' Pettigrew said about the Gina Relays. ''Back to the indoor MAC championships, that was also a great meet. Things started to come together there.
''Honestly since the MAC meet, the whole season has been great.''
Pettigrew started running at a young age against her brother John, who is one-year older than Jeanette. John Pettigrew played football for four years for the Falcons.
''It just kind of came as a natural thing,'' Pettigrew said. ''We would run around when we were younger, seeing who could get to the car first. That kind of developed to running around at school on recess and on the playground. We were racing to see who was the fastest kid in school.''
It was in junior high when running became a serious thing for Pettigrew.
''It was more of a social event. But it was social, and it was what I like to do, and I'm good at it,'' Pettigrew said. ''It went on from there, and I was blessed with a scholarship.''
As to who might be the fastest in the family, Pettigrew said she did not know.
''That's a tough question; that's a really good question. We have not tested it out recently, so I'm going to have to say I don't know on that one,'' Pettigrew said. ''Our last race might have been when we were ... in high school, at that point he was clearly beating me. Right now, I could give him a run for his money, if not beat him.''
The Falcons host Toledo Friday in the only home meet of the season, starting at 4 p.m. at Whittaker Track. It's Senior Day for the Falcons.
After Friday's meet, Pettigrew and her teammates will continue to prepare for the MAC championships, May 15-17 at Ohio University.
''One of my key points, and it's a blessing and a curse, is that I care,'' Pettigrew said. ''Not only am I trying to do my best to take care of myself, but when anything sparks in my brain that I can do this better, I'm talking to my teammates. I'm always trying to give them what I know, so that they are on the rise as well.''
Pettigrew does not plan to stop running after the season ends.
''I do plan on continuing to train and compete,'' Pettigrew said. ''I don't have the details behind all that stuff yet, but the Lord willing and my body stays healthy, I'm totally into it.''