Chugiak’s Peterson, Grace Christian’s Sliwinski named Alaska Gatorade Players of the Year in Cross-Country Running
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While many cross-country runners are strapping on the skis this time of the year, the coveted Gatorade Player of the Year awards for cross-country running have been announced.
Chugiak’s Campbell Peterson
It is rare to see what Chugiak standout Campbell Peterson accomplished during the fall of 2022. The senior competed in nine races this season, winning all nine of them, capped off by the elusive Division I individual championship at the state meet with a time of 19 minutes, 16.0 seconds, leading the Mustangs to back-to-back team titles. At the Region IV Championships, she clocked a 5-kilometer time of 19:17 on the Bartlett Trails, which ranks in the Top 50 all-time on the course among high school girls.
“The career growth of Campbell Peterson finally culminated in a Division I state championship as she grew from three previous experiences at the final to add to her two track titles from last spring with her first career cross country crown,” Erik Boal said. Boal is an editor for DyeStat.com.
“She achieved the feat in impressive fashion by going undefeated against Alaska competition throughout the season.”
The award not only recognized outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and “exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field,” in which Campbell checks all the boxes.
“Peterson is a member of the Student Advisory Board and the Chugiak High School Partners Club, on behalf of which she mentors peers with special needs, and she has served in student government. Peterson has also volunteered locally in association with the National Honor Society, (an) LDS Youth program and Special Olympics Alaska,” according to the Gatorade Player of the Year Press release.
She maintains a weighted 4.12 GPA and told Alaska’s News Source earlier this year she wants to be an aerospace engineer and work for NASA one day. Though still undecided on a college, with talent “out of this world,” the sky is the limit for Peterson.
Grace Christian’s David Sliwinksi
Grace Christian’s David Sliwinski has rather quietly been one of the best boys runners in the state the last few years, bursting on the scene with a Division II individual title in 2021 before doubling down in 2022 with another championship. Sliwinski clocked the fastest time across all three divisions at 15:55 to help lift the Grizzlies to their third straight team title, giving Sliwinski five total championships during his cross-country running career.
Sliwinksi also picked up wins during the regular season at the Wasilla Trailblazer Invitational, the Colony XC Invite and the Smokin’ Stampede.
“David Sliwinski capped his decorated prep cross country career in distinguished fashion,” PrepCalTrack.com editor Rich Gonzalez said in the press release. “Clocking the fastest all-divisions performance at the state meet, his performance capped a four-year dynasty which netted three official state team championships to go along with one unofficial team title during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Sliwinski has volunteered locally with Operation Christmas Child, the Community Pregnancy Center and the annual Veteran’s Day Reception and holds a 4.0 GPA in the classroom while remaining undecided upon a collegiate destination.
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