By René Ferrán | Photo by Taylor Balkom
Lake Oswego junior Kate Peters made official Wednesday what she’s known for months — she will sign a letter of intent next fall to run collegiately for Oklahoma State University.
Peters announced her decision on her Instagram feed, but an official visit earlier this month removed any possible doubt in the 2021 Class 6A state cross country champion and Eastbay All-American’s mind where she would head in the fall of 2023.
“It was pretty much Oklahoma State the whole time,” Peters said. “But I thought it would be a good idea to go on an official visit and see the place before I commit.”
Peters loved the campus and meeting her future teammates, but what sold her on Oklahoma State from the start was getting to work with coach Dave Smith, the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at the Stillwater school since 2009.
“No one else beat Dave Smith,” Peters said. “He was clearly the best coach for me, and I want him to coach me. But after going on the official visit, I realized how great the team is and the running in Stillwater. It’s a cool place to live, and there are lots of great people to surround yourself with.”
Peters won her first state cross country title in the fall, then finished sixth at the Eastbay National Championships in San Diego. Her winning time of 16 minutes, 40.9 seconds, in the Danner Championships at the Nike Portland XC Invite was the 16th-fastest 5,000-meter time nationwide this season.
She has yet to compete in track and field in high school, with the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out her freshman season and a family decision to sit out the spring 2021 campaign.
Peters is not the only Lake Oswego track athlete making news this month. Her sophomore teammate, Mia Brahe-Pedersen, won the Nike Indoor Nationals 200-meter championship in New York City, running a personal-best 23.44 seconds to defeat senior Autumn Wilson, a Texas state champion and University of Georgia commit. Brahe-Pedersen also finished sixth in the 60-meter dash.
Central Catholic junior Wesley Shipsey also returned from Staten Island a national champion, winning the boys mile in 4:11.42, pulling away from New Jersey state champion Kyle Rakitis to win by 1.37 seconds.
Oregon City junior Sophia Beckmon qualified for the girls 200 final, placing fifth in 24.28, and she finished third in the long jump with a best of 5.94 meters (19 feet, 6 inches). Junction City’s Calley Starr took sixth in the 1-mile race walk in 8:27.99.
Cascade senior Emma Yates placed second in the high jump, clearing 1.75 meters (5 feet, 8¾ inches), and Lincoln junior Nicole Prall took third in the pole vault, going over 3.83 meters (12 feet, 6¾ inches) but losing on a tiebreaker for second.