BY Lindsay Owens
---- — TERRE HAUTE —Some experiences we walk away from happy and others we walk away from disappointed. Regardless of the outcome, each can be considered a learning experience. For Barr-Reeve sophomore Jarit Perkins, running at the 68th Annual Boys Cross Country State Finals at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course Saturday was just that - a learning experience.
“It’s been a fun experience,” said Jarit shortly after crossing the finish line 51st out of 206 runners. “I just didn’t run very well and I’m disappointed with myself. I started out way too hard.”
JayR Perkins, Jarit’s coach and father, echoed his son’s feelings.
“I know this isn’t what he wanted and it’s not what I wanted for him either,” said JayR. “He didn’t stick to the strategy but this was a good and valuable learning experience. When you are on the big stage, like here, you have to stick to the plan. Jarit is just 16 and he’s young. He has a lot of running opportunities ahead and he will bounce back.”
But Jarit, the runner who finished second a week ago to now State Champion Jackson Bertoli at the Brown County Semi-State, has nothing to hang his head about. Overall, his season has been a great one. Not only did he win the South Knox Sectional last month, he also claimed the Pike Central Regional and the Blue Chip Conference title. He even won several other invitationals along the way including ones at Forest Park, South Knox and Pike Central.
Over 30 family and friends made the nearly 80-mile trip to support his efforts including Barr-Reeve Superintendent Travis Madison and none of them could be any more proud of what he has accomplished this year.
“We are very excited for Jarit,” said Madison. “I know he was disappointed this weekend but I couldn’t ask for a better representative from Barr-Reeve and its cross country program than Jarit. He’s a great young man who works very hard.”
Jarit will take what he learned Saturday and continue to train.
“I see Coach Perkins and the boys out running 365 days a year and are working very hard. They always make Barr-Reeve very proud,” said Madison.