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Pitts family setting the pace
seb fam crop

    Before the start of the Region 1-AAA track and field championship Monday afternoon at Southeast Bulloch High School, assistant coach Laurie Pitts made a challenge to her son to set a personal best.
    Her son, Quinn Pitts, did just that by winning the 32000-meter run and setting his PR for the event.
    “People didn’t start to say I was good until around my sophomore year. Then I started winning everything and placing in first and people were like ‘whoa,’” Quinn Pitts said, laughing with his mother and sister.
    For the Pitts family, running is more than just a sport, but a way of life. SEB freshman Hattie Pitts, daughter of Laurie Pitts, has already established herself as one of the top distance runners in the area. Junior Quinn Pitts, along with his younger sister Hattie, dominated the field on the first day of region and showed why they are the Yellow Jackets’ “secret weapon.”
    “They make me so proud. I love watching how they place in the region. They really shock me and their times keep going down,” said Laurie Pitts after day one of the region championships. “They reach goals that sometimes seem out of reach. They do it and they do it strong.”
    Hattie Pitts said she didn’t run her best, but still managed to finish first in the 1600-meter run.
    “I’m just in awe. I know they’ve come a long way. I was just happy to have them running period, but to see them running competitively and possibly on a state level...I’m just tickled,” Laurie Pitts said.
    Quinn and Hattie said they started running because of their mother. Laurie Pitts, a four-year track and cross country athlete, set two state records in the 15-16-year-old division in the 15k and half marathon events. After finishing her competitive running career, Laurie Pitts doctor told her she would have just one year to live if her health did not improve.
    “It was my mom’s health. She was given a year to live, so she got back into running and we just started running with her,” said Hattie Pitts, who started running competitively in third grade.
    The distance running brother-sister duo of Hattie and Quinn helped lead Southeast Bulloch to an early lead in the region championships. The pair combined for 10 points in their respective events.
    “I felt really good out there. I won the 2-mile and I PR’d,” Quinn Pitts said.
    Despite running for the same school, Hattie Pitts isn’t shy about expressing her ambition to beat her older brother. She also said she wouldn’t mind dethroning her mother in a couple of events.
    “Yeah it gets competitive at times,” Hattie Pitts said with a smile. “I want to win region as a freshman because he (Quinn) never did it. I also want to beat a couple of my mom’s PR times.”
    Laurie Pitts takes her children’s competitive nature in stride. As a mother and coach, she has been able to watch her children grow athletically from one of the best seats in the house.
    “I hope I get to see them compete for years to come. It’s just such a thrill to watch them,” Laurie Pitts said.
    As day two of the region championship begins today, Hattie Pitts will have a chance to become a region champion - which she will undoubtedly remind her brother of - and Quinn Pitts has the chance to dominate the field once again.
    For mom, she can just sit back and enjoy the show.
    “I think (my kids) are a little better than I was. In track I got sixth place a couple of times and I firmly believe Quinn and Hattie can do that,” Laurie Pitts said. “Maybe even higher.”

    Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.