Ethan Pettyjohn pictured here at the Great Meadow Invitational
There are many runners in the state of Virginia that go on to run in Division one, some you may know and others you may not. One runner though that has an interesting story is Orange's Ethan Pettyjohn.
"I just wanted to see what would happen if I did it"
That was what Ethan Pettyjohn had to say after he won the 1600m at a middle school meet while wearing crocs. From then on it was certain Orange was going to have a star on their hands. That race also became something of legend for obvious reasons.
As a middle schooler Ethan ran for Locust Grove and put down some impressive times like his 15:48 4K and his 8:55 2.5K in XC.
He immediately was an impact runner at Orange running solidly in the 16's as a freshman. By his sophomore year he was tallying up victories at invitationals and closing in on that sub 16:00 mark with a 16:18 personal best.
On the track he was excelling as well with a 10:43 best in the 3200, good enough for the Orange school record.
His junior year was battled with injuries and then the COVID-19 pandemic. That brings us to this year where he helped found the My Vision Elite Track Club. He has since helped create a strong work ethic and set the bar high for younger runners.That legacy could be better than all his records.
Next year, Ethan will be attending Longwood University and will compete in cross country. He received both athletic and academic scholarships to the University and was admitted to the Honors College where he intends on studying Engineering.
"Ethan set the bar high for other Orange County runners. He isn't just a phenomenal runner, he is a man of characters and there can be no doubt that he will succeed in any path he chooses in the future." - Ethan's Coach noted
Regardless of what he does in college or his times in high school, the true legend lies in the story of a middle school runner winning the 1600 in crocs just to see what would happen.