Senior Peter Hale started his Swampscott High sports career in the fall of his freshman year playing football. He had been a runner at the middle school.
The next fall he returned to cross country and never looked back.
The Swampscott School Committee recently recognized Peter — a soft-spoken, humble and team-oriented athlete — for his achievements.
Among them, he was Eastern Mass Division 5 champion, the first time SHS has had a state champ on the boy's team since 1991, said School Committee member Marianne Hartmann. The last cross country state champion was in 2009, a member of the girls' team, Lindsay Walsh.
Peter went on to place 6th at the All-State meet this fall.
He was also a Northeast Conference champion and an NEC runner of the year, as well as a Boston Globe All-Star and Boston Herald All-Star.
"I think Peter's talent runs deeper than even he knows," said Hartmann. "I love watching him in a competitive race because he can just pour it on in the home stretch. He actually makes cross country a great spectator sport."
The funny thing is, you might think, shortly after Peter crossed the finish line, that he was a spectator himself.
He remains relaxed and soon catches his breath.
Some of Peter's Cross Country Achievements:
2012 Northeast Conference Champion
2012 NEC runner of the year
2012 Eastern Mass Division 5 champion in 15:44 (it's a 5K)
2011 Eastern Mass Division 5 runner-up
2012 Division 2 All-State Meet 6th place finisher (meaning he went on to finish 6th at all states this year)
3-time Salem News all-star
3-time NEC all-star