Sam Peterman, a freshman transfer from Springville, broke five records at Sweet Home. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
The name on her uniform changed, but the results did not.
Sam Peterman transferred from Springville-GI to Sweet Home and the running standout picked up right where she left off.
Peterman, who bursted onto the scene as an 8th grader at Springville last season, is still a Springville resident, but has the opportunity to attend Sweet Home because her father is a district employee. Peterman, broke five school records in her freshman year at Sweet Home, running cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.
“It was pretty cool, I accomplished more than I ever thought I could, “ Peterman said. “It was different because the larger schools are a lot better and the competition just pushes you to go harder.”
Sweet Home, year in, year out has one of the strongest track teams in WNY. This past year was no different. On the girls side, Sweet Home had 11 top five finishes at the Section VI Championships and two Section VI titles. The boys had nine top five finishes and three Section VI titles.
“It helps me a lot in workouts with what pace I should be at,” Peterman said about the competition amongst her own team. “It pushes me and gets me ready for the bigger races.”
Peterman finished the track season as a two-time Freshman All American, taking second place in the freshman mile at the New Balance National Indoor Meet in March and finishing third in the freshman mile at the New Balance National Outdoor meet in June. Peterman was also ranked among the top 100 freshmen nationally in all of her events in indoor and outdoor by US Mile Splits.
This was the first year Peterman competed In cross-country and still managed to finish the season ranked among the top 15 in Class B among freshmen in New York state.
Peterman caught the flu during the week of the Section VI Outdoor Championships. She missed three out of four days of school and still wasn’t 100 percent going into the meet. Peterman led the majority of 800 meter race, but was caught by West Seneca West senior Abigail Jankowski in the last 40 meters and had to settle for second place.
“That was pretty upsetting,” Peterman said.
Peterman is competing against older and more experienced runners every week. She noted that her most important attribute in running is her “mental strength”.
“I’ve learned that in running, you make a lot of mistakes, “Peterman laughed. “You have to learn from the mistakes and be mentally strong, because if you aren’t your race falls apart. Before the race I kind of visualize what I’m going to and kind of plan out for every situation. Then during the race, nothing is going to go your way. You just have to be ready to feel the pain and keep on pushing through it.”
Peterman was ranked among the top mid-distance and distance runners in WNY in both indoor and outdoor. In the winter, Peterman’s indoor resume included: being ranked No. 2 in Section VI in the 600m, No. 1 the 1000m and No. 1 and in the mile. In outdoor, Peterman was ranked No. 4 in the 1500m, No. 2 in the 800m and No. 1 in the mile and was a leg of the 4x400 team that won a Section VI title.
The freshman standout was named the Section VI Female Freshman Runner of the Year in cross-country, Cross-Country Rookie of the Year at Sweet Home, Indoor MVP at Sweet Home, Outdoor Rookie of the Year at Sweet Home and was named the Girls MVP of the Section VI Indoor Team Championships.
“We’re very proud of what she’s been able to do, especially at such a young age” said Dale Peterman, Sam’s father. “Being able to watch her compete as a youngster, as a 13 and 14-year-old going up against juniors and seniors regularly and compete with them and stay right with them, is a true testament to how hard she’s worked.”
Peterman owns school records at Springville in the 1500 and the 3000. She broke school records at Sweet Home in the 600m, 1000m as well as running a leg in the record-breaking 4x400 relay team in indoor. In outdoor, Peterman ran a leg on the 4x400 team and anchored the 4x800 team that broke school records.
If you’re keeping “track”, that’s seven school records
“I didn’t think I would even get any school records till my junior or senior year at Sweet Home, “Peterman said smiling. “I have a lot more to learn. I want to keep making accomplishments and setting my goals high.”