Finishing strong: Peterson blazes through final lap, sets record in 1600

Stanton County senior Chesney Peterson ran the eighth-fastest 1600m time in state history...
Stanton County senior Chesney Peterson ran the eighth-fastest 1600m time in state history Thursday at the Pre-State Challenge.((photo by Mike Courson))
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 2:22 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In more ways than one, Chesney Peterson is saving her best for last.

In cruising to an easy win in the Class 2A 1600 meter race on Saturday afternoon at Cessna Stadium, Peterson, a senior at Stanton County, didn’t let a huge lead on the final lap slow her down.

Peterson finished that lap in just over 1 minute, 9 seconds, her fastest lap of the day and the lasting image of another meet record.

Peterson smashed her own 2A meet record with a 4:50.13 mile on Saturday, nearly two seconds better than the mark she established last year. On Friday, Peterson broke a 35-year-old record in the 3200 meters by 12 seconds.

“It feels amazing,” Peterson said. “I’m just super happy to have been able to finish what I started back when I was a sophomore.”

As of about 2 p.m. Saturday, Peterson was 2/3 of the way to winning all three events she’s competing in, which would somehow be a step down.

Last year, Peterson won four events -- the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200. She’s not competing in the 400 this year, but that hardly takes away from an incredible high school career in which the University of Tennessee signee has top 10 times in Kansas history in all of the races she’s competing in this year.

Her times are among the nation’s best, too.

“I take a lot of pride in the event, I’m very comfortable in it,” Peterson said. “I don’t know, it’s the perfect in-between of not too short and not too long.”

As she waited for her final race on Saturday and of her high school career, Peterson wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye.

“It’s crazy, I don’t feel like a senior, it’s weird,” Peterson said. “I never got to race state track with my sister (Peyton), but I remember being here an eighth grader that I didn’t get to run, too.

“I’m going to miss Cessna a whole lot, but I’m really excited for the next chapter.”