Ritchie’s Pickering heading to D&E

Ritchie County’s Travis Pickering will continue his athletic career in both cross country and track for NCAA Division II member Davis & Elkins College. Photo courtesy of Brian Davis.

ELLENBORO — There are few days of rest for former Ritchie County standout Travis Pickering, who earlier this spring inked his national letter of intent to compete in cross country and track for Davis & Elkins College head coach Jason Pyles.

“He’s got me and all the incoming guys on a weekly schedule,” said Pickering, who noted on Friday “I got ahold of some of my buddies, Hunter Riffle and Hunter Deem, and we actually just did 10 miles.

“It (the training program) was a little different the first week I started, but I’ve gotten the hang of it. Running alone, I don’t really like that too much.”

Pickering, who had a 3.4 cumulative GPA and earned a dozen athletic letters, finished runner-up at the Class A state track meet this year in the high jump and was a member of the Rebels’ runner-up 4×800 relay team. He also was a member of Ritchie County’s three state-bound cross country teams during each of his first three years as a Rebel.

“It’s kind of up in the air,” Pickering admitted when asked if he had nailed down his major yet. “It’s kind of between education and business. D&E is a small campus and I’m obviously from Ritchie County and obviously a smaller town.

“I didn’t want to jump into something too big I couldn’t handle. I visited the campus and it was just beautiful. The beautiful scenery and the amount of running trails around it. I liked the coaching staff and Jason is really a great guy.”

The now ex-Rebel said coach Pyles “reached out to me my junior year during track season and I’ve been talking to him since.

“I didn’t make any other visits. I thought about Fairmont and that didn’t last long. Davis and Elkins has pretty much been the top school all along.”

Pickering will have to report to campus a week earlier than normal students due to preseason training with the Senators.

“My summer training is going pretty good so far,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not going to jump in and be the top dog and I don’t expect to, but I think I can compete with some of the guys. I just have to keep my training up.”

Originally from South Carolina, the ex-soccer player said he moved to the area when he was in sixth grade.

“I’ll definitely miss some of the guys and the connections you make with some of the guys coming up,” Pickering said of leaving his old stomping grounds. “I’ll follow their running.

“I’m eager and excited knowing that I got a great coaching staff and a great group of guys who already have experience running. It’s a pretty cool feeling knowing I get to continue my running career.”