Jack Rittler, son of Barb and Andrew Rittler, is this week’s Athlete of the Week. He is a junior at Brentwood High School and a member of the Boys Cross Country and Track & Field teams.
Rittler said his biggest highlight this season was getting a time of 16:37 in the 5k, which was his first time breaking 17:00.
Rittler started running competitively in middle school, but said that it became his main focus in high school after he decided to step away from soccer.
When asked what inspires him to continue training and competing he said, “My coach, Robert Pautienus, inspires me every day. He is always there for me and wants the best for me. He sacrifices so much for the team.”
Pautienus said of Rittler, “Jack’s improvement this year has been significant, which is a result of his hard work and willingness to push himself. He has been one of the key leaders on the varsity team, and as a returning senior next year, I expect big things for him.”
One of his top role models is teammate Kevin Vanderkolk. “I look up to Kevin a lot,” he said. “We are all going to miss him next year.”
He describes himself as determined. When he’s not running, he enjoys biking, being outdoors and spending time with his friends.
After graduating from BHS, he hopes to continue his running career at the collegiate level.