ROMEO — Charlevoix senior Sam Peterson’s finishing history with Rayder’s track and field program is littered with first-place finishes.
Looking at last season’s results for Peterson, you might start to think the No. 1 button was just stuck on the pad.
But, the most impressive finish to date for Rayder de Peterson’s career was not one of those firsts, although it alone puts him atop Charlevoix’s record books for the mile after the weekend. -end.
Last Friday, Peterson was one of the few runners from Michigan State accepted into The Barnyard Invitational Elite Showcase Mile event in Macomb, where he set a new Charlevoix school record in the race.
“It’s really special to finally break the record,” said Peterson. “It was a good experience. We came to the meeting with the intention of breaking the school record, but we wanted to get as close to it as possible.
“The race was kind of set up to run fast that day. Everyone was out in about 2:06 and we actually slowed down the second lap. I was able to hold on to get it. It was a perfect day for running fast. It was 50 degrees and no wind.
Peterson’s new record time came in 4 minutes, 17.97 seconds, beating the previous mark set by Mike Bush of 4:19.63. This is a record since 1995.
Bush is currently the Charlevoix High School girls track and field coach and someone Peterson himself was pushed by during his career and learned a lot from.
“Mr. Bush was one of those people that I can confidently say had a pretty big impact on me in high school,” Peterson said. “We kind of have this rocky romantic relationship. shamelessly honest with me, sometimes to my dismay, but he certainly makes me better and makes the whole team better, he is one of those people who has been very influential, not just in racing but also as a person.
The race consisted of only the best in the state, many of whom Peterson has seen at the start line before.
“I had raced most of these guys a few times before, but I kind of snagged a lot of them,” he said. “We met indoors at this Gazelle Mile and I was about 5-10 seconds away from most of them. So it was definitely a much better experience to be able to hang on the last lap and be able to stay with them the last race.
Hartland’s Riley Hough took the overall win in 4:06.32, while Benzie Central’s Hunter Jones was second in 4:13.59.
Of the 32 riders in the race, Peterson placed 10th overall and was the only other rider from Northern Michigan with Jones.
“It was a really good experience going there,” he said. “I was happy that my coaches allowed me to make the trip. You had to register in advance, but they only let a certain number of people in. There were only two or three guys in the state who had run faster than me who decided not to go. So it was pretty much everyone. It was kind of a who’s who on the line. It was rather fun.
Outside of Friday’s mile race, Peterson has had the chance to race in only one other race this season due to cancellations and cold weather, posting a first time of 4:26.39 in the 1600 and first place in the 3200 meters in race. 9:54.75 at the annual Bulldog Invitational at Indian River.
That will soon change of course, with more opportunities to come. Peterson’s goals for the future now focus on moving his team forward through the season, with planning for the state meet still a long way off.
“Now I’m more focused on doing everything I can for the team so we can be competitive at regionals and continue to work and be a good teammate, see how good we can be,” he said. -he declares. “The state meet is definitely on my mind at the moment.”
Contact sportswriter Drew Kochanny at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter, @DrewKochanny, and Instagram, @drewkochanny