Junior cross country runner Jonathan Peterson is rapidly earning the right to be remembered as one of the greatest runners in school history.
Peterson finished 14th at the NCAA Championships en route to being named an All-American. Peterson became the first UC Davis runner since the move to Division I to be named an All-American.
His strong running wasn’t only at the NCAA Championships.
This year he has won the Sacramento State Hornet Jamboree, finished ninth overall at the Stanford Invitational, fifth overall in NCAA West Regionals cross-country and received All-Region accolades from the Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Coach Drew Wartenburg believes Peterson is a building block for the Aggies.
“Before you can get a team out, you have to get an individual and so this is a huge piece for the program,” Wartenburg said.
Peterson is the first male athlete to qualify for the Division I national meet since the team has moved up to this level three years ago.
“He was the highlight on the men’s side,” Wartenburg said. “Getting a guy up that high in the regional event and then getting him to nationals to check out that landscape is a huge step.”
Peterson is also going to compete in distance events for the UC Davis track and field team, which Wartenburg believes will help Peterson improve even further.
The human development major hopes to one day break the four-minute mile barrier – one of the most pursued achievements for competitive distance runners.
The California Aggie would like to add to Peterson’s packed trophy case by naming him the Male Athlete of the Quarter.
RON HOOPER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.