High School Sports

Chugiak High’s Campbell Peterson named Alaska’s Gatorade Player of the Year for girls cross country

After helping lead the Chugiak High girls cross-country running team to back-to-back Division I Alaska state championships, Campbell Peterson became the first athlete in program history Friday to be named Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year for girls cross country running.

The award doesn’t just recognize student-athletes for their outstanding feats of athleticism — it also acknowledges excellent academic achievement and extraordinary character exemplified on and off their respective arenas of competition.

Peterson maintained a 4.12 weighted GPA, serves as the team’s videographer and a photographer for running events, is a member of the Student Advisory Board and the Chugiak High School Partners Club and mentors peers with special needs. She has also served in student government and volunteered locally with the National Honor Society, a LDS Youth program and Special Olympics Alaska.

After finishing second in the 2021 state championships to last year’s Gatorade Player of the Year in Robyn Miller of South Anchorage by 17 seconds, Peterson finally claimed her first career state title as a senior by winning the 2022 championship race by 20 seconds. She didn’t lose a single race all season and came in first at some notable events such as the George Plumley and Ted McKenney Invitationals.

[Chugiak, Colony and Grace Christian among big winners at Alaska state cross-country championships]

“The career growth of Campbell Peterson finally culminated in a Division 1 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,” said Erik Boal, an editor for DyeStat.com in a statement. “She achieved the feat in impressive fashion by going undefeated against Alaska competition throughout the season.”

This distinction makes her a finalist for the national Gatorade National Cross Country Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.


Some notable recipients of the award from its previous 37 years include Olympic gold medalist Natalie Cook (2021-22, Flower Mound High School, Texas), Division I national champion Katelyn Tuohy (2019-20, North Rockland High School, N.Y.), 9-time All-American Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester High School, Michigan) and renowned marathon runner Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, California).

Peterson also helped the Mustangs win a track and field state title in the spring of 2022 as a junior after finishing first in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter races. She will look to defend the title this spring and has yet to decide on future college or competition plans.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.