Lake Oswego's Kate and Ana Peters lift Lakers to new heights
It's taken Kate Peters a while to find her place in the world.
Peters is just 16 and already the top cross country runner in Oregon. She started her high school career at Lakeridge, then spent part of a term at Lincoln before finally settling in at Lake Oswego High School last year.
Now that she's found her high school home at Lake Oswego, Peters is setting the pace for runners in Oregon. Just for good measure, she's brought along her extremely talented younger sister, Ana. Ana is 14 and a Lake Oswego freshman.
Together, Kate and Ana Peters have the top two 5-kilometer times in the Three Rivers League for 2021, Kate has the best 5K time in the state for 2021 and Ana is not far behind, currently 12th among runners at all levels in Oregon.
"I was at Lincoln, only for half the first term, and before that I was at Lakeridge — the other side of the lake. Yeah, I jumped around quite a bit," Kate said. "We moved halfway through my eighth-grade year … but then we moved back to Lake Oswego and now I'm here and we will not be moving again. I'll be staying here."
That move has been a huge benefit to the Lake Oswego girls cross country team. While the 2020 version of the Lakers placed seventh at the TRL district meet, the 2021 version promises to be much, much better.
Some of the Peters sisters' highlights thus far include: Kate took first and Ana placed third in the Ultimook Race near Tillamook on Sept. 4; Ana finished first in the TRL Preview Meet at Oregon City High School on Sept. 8; Kate and Ana went 1-2 among 163 runners at the Meriwether CC Classic in Hillsboro on Sept. 17; and Kate won the Danner Championship race at the Nike Portland XC in Gresham on Sept. 25, while Ana placed 36th in a field of 125.
Running on the same team is something of a lifestyle for the Peters sisters.
"We've basically always been on the same team (except) when I was in high school before her … and she was still in the Bowerman Youth Program," Kate said.
Laker head coach Vince Kinney knows just how much the Peters sisters have added to his program.
"Kate's strengths are that she is very competitive when it comes to anything, and that drive makes her want to be better," he said. "Ana's strengths are that she is very coachable and does a great job at following through race plans or strategies."
While the Peters sisters have led the way for Lake Oswego this year — headed by Kinney and assistant Steve Edwards — they have some talented teammates who are lifting the Lakers' hopes for a Three Rivers League championship and a berth to the Class 6A state meet. Sophomore Sydney Lim (she was fifth at district last season) has the seventh-best time in the TRL this year, while freshman Sofie Howard has posted the league's ninth-best mark in 2021.
"I'm hoping I'll be up there at district and the team can make it to state this year," Kate said. "That's pretty much the goal."
Ana, likewise, said she has enjoyed her first year of high school cross country.
"It's been pretty good," she said. "I like being coached by Steve Edwards and it's been a pretty good transition."
All the individual wins and team goals aside, however, both sisters just enjoy running.
"I just think it's fun. It's like, you can always get better, right?" Ana said. "I just like doing workouts and stuff."
"Yeah, I think it's like the purest form of exercise or quick exercise," Kate said. "You never regret going for a run — I enjoy it."
Looking ahead, the Lakers finish the regular season at Tigard on Oct. 6, run at the Lewis & Clark XC Invitational on Oct. 16, compete in the district meet at Clackamas Community College on Oct. 27 and — hopefully — at state at Lane Community College on Nov. 6. Individually, both sisters hope to qualify for the Footlocker Cross Country Championship in December — which Kate says she wants to win.
"The sky is the limit for both of them," Kinney said. "They want to work hard to get better and they both can be really good runners at the next level."
With all the time they spend together, the Peters sisters can't help competing with each other a little too — at least according to Kate.
"It's fun to be together and do workouts together," Kate said. "I always want to beat her. I never want her to beat me. I'm two years older so it would be pretty embarrassing if she were beating me."
"No, it's not really a rivalry because she comes in like a minute ahead of me," Ana added, "so it's not really competition."
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