If you ask her coaches or teammates, they would say she is unselfish, soft spoken, humble and all about the team, but with her accolades and school records that could fill a page and more, Pitman High’s Mavleen Mann is without question the best female cross-country runner in school history.
Mann became just the second athlete from Pitman cross country to advance to state, and the first female in program history to reach state in cross country after placing second in this past Saturday’s Section Championships from Willow Hill Reservoir in Folsom.
“She never ran the course before but we made sure to get the team down there. We don’t see her smile much since she is such a competitor but she was really happy to have her team,” said Pitman head coach Eren Fisher. “What she is doing is something no other girl has done in Pitman history. She has put in her time; the team sees the hard work she put in and there is no fluke she is there. And as a coach, can’t be prouder. See kids work hard and don’t get an opportunity, good to see someone who has had it work out the way she wanted to.”
Just a week ago, Mann signed her National Letter of Intent to UC Davis on a scholarship for cross country and track and field.
Just days later she was competing for the chance to make state after placing 11th just a season ago.
“Last year, Mavleen placed 11th in D-I, missed state and this year she said it wasn’t happening again and she stamped her ticket to state,” said Fisher.
This happened after Mann clocked in at 19:12 in Saturday’s section finals, trailing first place by three seconds.
As a team, Pitman placed fifth, missing the state qualifying mark by two spots.
“Best finishes ever, varsity girls qualifying for sections, first to qualify for sections, never had a varsity team qualify for sections in cross country,” said Fisher.
Teammate Camila Stephens placed 24th with a time of 21:06 for Pitman.
Sophomore Diana Olthof placed 44th with a time of 22:30.06 and teammate, freshman Charlotte Laska (22:37.2) followed in 45th. Junior Stefanie Rodriguez took 47th for the Pride with a time of 22:40.
Pitman senior, Sarah Siegel placed 54th with a time of 23:13.5.
Sofia Andres of Turlock saw the best result for the Bulldogs, placing 27th, after clocking in at 21:12.
Mann advances to the state finals this weekend.