Girls Track MVP: Jessica Pixler, Eastlake

It\'s easy to say Eastlake senior Jessica Pixler\'s running talent comes from her parents, as both Jeff and Nancy Pixler ran track or cross country at the University of Colorado. Their daughter displayed the ability to do both sports this past year, taking second at the 4A state cross country meet last fall and winning the 800 meters this spring at the 4A state track meet.

But it appears she inherited more than just talent. Pixler described her father as a courageous runner, the same term he used to describe his daughter.

Pixler tells a story about her father when he ran track in high school. He took second in the 400 and 800 at his state tournament, but might have won one event or the other if he had just chosen to run in one event instead of two.

\"His attitude was not to play it safe and to go for the double,\" she said. \"I think I have that same mindset.\"

Her running coach at Eastlake, Troy Anderson, said it doesn\'t matter if it\'s a preliminary heat or the state finals; when Pixler runs, you\'ll see her best endeavor every time out.

Her efforts paid off at the 4A state meet, where Pixler won the 800 with a 2:09.72 and took second in the 1,600 in 4:48. In both events, only six runners have topped her times in state history.

She describes herself as a crazy runner who irritated her opponents because she wouldn\'t run a pace race, or in other words, she simply wouldn\'t run with the pack. It was her way or the highway.

Pixler will take her talents to Seattle Pacific University next fall, where she\'ll major in English. Jeff Pixler said they may change her running style at SPU, but there\'s one thing that won\'t change in his daughter.

\"Jessica will give her best effort every time she steps on the track,\" he said. \"I don\'t think anybody will change that.\"