As a freshman, Gig Harbor cross country runner Bradley Peloquin placed 105th in the Class 4A state meet in Pasco.
This season, as a sophomore, Peloquin took sixth in the Class 3A state meet over the weekend with a time of 15 minutes, 57.6 seconds, improving on last season’s mark of 16:51.
Suffice it to say, Peloquin has improved as a runner.
“I was super nervous last year,” Peloquin said. “I didn’t get much sleep the night before. I couldn’t stop thinking about the race.”
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He learned from that experience.
The main thing is just to treat it like any other meet.
Bradley Peloquin, Gig Harbor sophomore runner
“The main thing is just to treat it like any other meet,” he said. “Just go into it saying, ‘It’s just another race.’ It’s not anything huge. That definitely helped me.”
Peloquin said he used to get “pretty worked up” before races, as a freshman. This season, under the guidance of coach Mark Wieczorek, he took some of the pressure off himself and just ran.
“The No. 1 thing is just having more fun with it,” he said.
Having Wieczorek, a professional runner himself, at the helm, has helped Peloquin grow this season.
When (Gig Harbor coach Mark Wieczorek) writes (out) runs for us, it’s obvious he knows what he’s doing. He’s made so many people run such good times.
“He’s just such a good coach,” Peloquin said. “He knows what he’s doing. When he writes (out) runs for us, it’s obvious he knows what he’s doing. He’s made so many people run such good times. Another thing, he’s just a really nice guy. He’s not a super serious coach. He’s a really chill guy. He’s someone you can approach really easily. Just having that relationship is really important.”
Peloquin’s performance helped the Gig Harbor boys take sixth place in the team standings at the 3A state meet with 179 points. Gig Harbor likely would have been in the top five if the Tides were at full strength, but were missing No. 2 runner Tucker Gibbons with an injury.
“Going in, we were seeded third,” Peloquin said. “We knew we probably weren’t going to do that well without him. But we were really happy with how we did. We don’t lose a lot of people. Next year, things could go even better.”
Junior Nolan Carroll placed 26th at 16:21.30, senior Jack Shields placed 55th at 16:47.70, junior Finlay Adamson placed 81st at 17:05.20 and junior Arthur Keast placed 100th at 17:18.70.
On the girls side, Peninsula High School placed 10th in the team standings. Its top finisher was junior Ashley Fahey, who placed 22nd with a time of 19 minutes, 30.20 seconds.