By CONOR NICHOLL
Johnson-Stanton County junior Chesney Peterson delivered a feat that only Claflin’s Jackie Stiles previously performed.
Peterson, the state’s best distance runner and highly decorated the last two seasons, earned four individual golds at the state meet Friday and Saturday at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium.
Peterson won the 400-meter dash, and 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in Class 2A. Stiles accomplished the feat in 1996, per Kansas historian Carol Swenson. Stiles ran all four races in one day. No boy has accomplished the feat. Stiles is widely regarded as Kansas’ all-time greatest girl athlete with a bevy of state records in basketball and track.
Peterson captured the 3,200 on Friday night, and the other three races Saturday.
Peterson won the 400 in 1:00.15. She collected 800 gold in 2:18.70. Her teammate Suzanne Farham was seventh in 2:32.49. Peterson broke her own 2A state record in a highly impressive 1,600 when ran 4:54.00. Peterson won the 3,200 in 10:52.65.
Peterson’s 4:54 was faster than Girard’s Cailie Logue posted in 2016 for the 4A state record. Logue, a multiple All-American at Iowa State, ran 4:54.44. The only state mark that is faster than Peterson is Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Molly Born, who ran 4:51.09 in 2016 for the 6A crown. Born runs for Oklahoma State and was an All-American.
In the 1,600, Peterson posted 1:10, 1:16, 1:15 and 1:12 for her lap splits.
Entering state, Peterson had ran 4:54.74, which was No. 13 all-time in Kansas history.
For the 800, Peterson quickly pulled away from the field halfway through the race. She ran 1:12 in the 400 and 1:05 in the second half.
In 2021, Peterson won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, along with the 1,600 relay. All four races occurred on one day because of COVID-19 protocol. Peterson set the 2A state record in the 1,600 at 5:00.72 last season.
She won the 800 in 2:16.80, the 3,200 in 10:47.92, and the 1,600 relay in 4:11.83. She ran a 59-second split.
Peterson has captured back-to-back cross-country titles. Stanton County won the team cross country championship both years. This year, Peterson posted 2:10.78 in the 800, which is fourth-best in Kansas history, according Swenson’s performance list.
This season, Peterson helped Stanton County earn third with 50 points. Garden Plain won with 58, and Wabaunsee took second with 55. Garden Plain won its third straight 2A title. Stanton County finished top-three for a second straight year. Farnham also finished second in the pole vault. For the SC boys, Sammuel Canny won the long jump in 22-5.25. Kamryn Golub was second in the 3,200 at 10:08.19.
All three teams at least one elite standout. GP featured Brooke Hammond, an Emporia State commit. Wabaunsee has senior Lauren Schutter and freshman Payton Wurtz.
Hammond won the 100 in 12.41, the 200 in 27.89, and the anchor on the 400 relay in 50.65. Hammond finished her career with 10 gold medals in three seasons of state track.
Schutter won the long jump and took third in the triple jump. Schutter collected the long jump title in back-to-back years. Schutter is headed to Michigan State volleyball. She set the school record for most individual points in Wabaunsee history at the state meet. Wurtz was runner-up to Peterson in the 400 at 1:01.11, the 1,600 with 5:19.24, and the 3,200 with 11:58.07. She finished second to Peterson at cross country last fall.