Growing up, Bucyrus junior Brittany Parsell knew she was fast — so did her classmates.
It was a common occurrence for Parsell to catch passes during pickup football games at recess then scamper her way to a touchdown, untouched. Parsell’s display typically led to the boys challenging her to a race, and she’s been hard to catch ever since.
“I don’t think I really ever lost,” she said.
At the age of 8, Parsell joined the YMCA track team, putting her speed to the test and dreaming of the day she’d compete in the state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Stadium.
During Saturday’s Division II regional meet at Lexington, Parsell’s dream came true. She advanced to the state meet with a second-place finish of 12.41 in the 100-meter dash, a second-place, school record-setting performance of 25.57 in the 200 and took third in the long jump with a leap of 16-8¾.
“It feels pretty good,” Parsell said.
Redmen coach Carl Rittenour said in all of his years with the track program, this is the first time he’s had a girl qualify for state in three events and said Parsell may be the first in school history to do so.
“We’ve only had two guys do it, so I told her she is up there with an elite bunch,” Rittenour said. “A lot of people never make one event in their whole career, and you’ve made three so far, so you are in a crowd all its own.”
Parsell is doing her best to stay focused heading into Friday’s preliminaries and won’t take part in the seeding comparison game. She’s content on showing up and running her own race, just like she did during her time spent out on the playground.
“Carl and everybody else showed me my times and possible places up there, but I didn’t want to look at it,” Parsell said. “I’m just happy to be there. I’m going to go and give it my all and see what happens.”