Athlete of the Week: Chugiak’s Campbell Peterson

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 8:52 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Toe the line against Campbell Peterson and you’re running for second place.

The Chugiak senior has won all eight of the cross country races she’s entered this year, including the Region IV Championship this past weekend where her time of 19:17 cracked the Top 50 all-time on Bartlett’s 5-kilometer course among high school girls.

“I had a big cramp but I was like, ‘I gotta keep pushing,’” Peterson said after winning her first Region IV title by 20 seconds. “I think especially on the last hill, going up Separation for the last time, I got some separation, so I am happy with how it happened.”

Campbell Peterson 2022 Cross Country Results

8/13Quad 2/Chugiak12:09/3K1st
8/20Ted McKenney/Tsalteshi Trails19:33/5K1st
8/27Big 8 Invite/Kincaid Trails19:22/5K1st
9/10George Plumley/Michael Janecek Trails19:27/5K1st
9/16Kodiak Quad/Fort Abercrombie19:33/5K1st
9/17Kodiak 4xMile/Bear Valley Golf Course5:44/1mi1st
9/24Smokin’ Stampede/Chugiak19:29/5K1st
10/1Region IV Championships/Bartlett19:17/5K1st

A four-time state champion with the Mustangs between Track and Field (2022 team title, 1600, 3200-meter individual titles) and Cross Country (2021 team title), Peterson would trade all of her wins this year for that elusive individual cross country state title this weekend.

”Last year I got second,” Peterson reflected. “Robyn (Miller) is amazing, she is so nice, but that was a bummer for me because I was so close.”

Peterson has her final opportunity to win the state title this Saturday when the best Division I girls runners line up at Bartlett for the 2022 ASAA Cross Country State Championships. It would not be a surprise to see her cap off a perfect season.

“Campbell is very determined, I think is the best way to think about it,” Chugiak Cross Country head coach Brian Kruchoski said. “She knows how to get what she wants to accomplish. She is very diligent as far as her practices go. If we tell her to run a 50-minute run, she runs a 50-minutes run. Just any little part of it. She’s always right on and does it the way she thinks it’s going to work for her, and the way we tell it is going to work for her.”

“I’d say her dedication to the sport,” fellow senior and Peterson’s main running partner Addison Capozzi said. “That girl will do anything, she’ll push herself to the max to make sure she gets the workout she needs and she never backs down from a workout. She encourages us, which I think is the most important part. She supports her team, and we all support her back. She is very dedicated to the sport of running, it’s her passion.”

Already proving she is one of the best with her feet on the ground, Peterson has set her lifelong goals a little higher.

”Ever since I was little I have wanted to be an aerospace engineer, so kind of working with satellites and lighter aircraft and stuff like that, I have always wanted to work for a company like NASA or something,” Peterson said, who boasts a 4.1 GPA. “It is quite a big goal, but I am trying to keep my mind open — like if I get to college and I don’t like it, I can always switch. But for now, that’s my plan; to go into engineering.”

With goals out of this world, Peterson is going to stay grounded and focus on her task here on Earth this weekend.

“I think it’s obvious, I want to take state,” Peterson said. “That is my personal goal, and I think our team has a great chance at taking it again this year. May the best team win, but I feel really good about our chances and I am really excited to see what we can do this weekend.”