Chugiak’s Peterson, Grace Christian’s Sliwinski named Alaska Gatorade Players of the Year in Cross-Country Running

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – While many cross-country runners are putting on their skis this time of year, the coveted Gatorade Player of the Year awards for cross-country running have been announced.

Chugiak’s Campbell Peterson

It’s rare to see what Campbell Peterson, the standout Chugiak, accomplished in the fall of 2022. The senior competed in nine races that season and won all nine, topping the elusive Division I individual championship at the state meeting with a time of 19 minutes, 16.0 seconds, leading the Mustangs to back-to-back team titles. At the Region IV Championships, she ran a 19:17 5K on the Bartlett Trails, which ranks in the top 50 all-time on the course for high school girls.

“Campbell Peterson’s career growth eventually culminated in a Division I state championship as she grew from three previous experiences at the Finals to complement her two track titles from last spring with her first career cross-country crown,” said Erik Boal . Boal is a contributing editor at

“She pulled off the feat in an impressive manner by remaining undefeated against the Alaskan competition all season.”

The award not only recognized outstanding sporting achievements, but also high academic standards and “exemplary character on and off the field,” for which Campbell ticked all the boxes.

“Peterson serves on the Student Advisory Board and the Chugiak High School Partners Club, on behalf of which she serves peers with special needs, and has served in student administration. Peterson has also volunteered locally in partnership with the National Honor Society, (an) LDS youth program and Special Olympics Alaska,” read the Gatorade Player of the Year press release.

She has a 4.12 GPA and told Alaska’s News Source earlier this year that she wants to someday be an aerospace engineer and work for NASA. Though he’s college-bound yet, with talent “out of this world,” Peterson’s sky’s the limit.

Grace Christians David Sliwinksi

Grace Christian’s David Sliwinski has been fairly quietly one of the state’s top boy runners in recent years, bursting onto the scene in 2021 with a Division II singles title before doubling with another championship in 2022. Sliwinski set the fastest time in all three divisions at 15:55 to help the Grizzlies to their third straight team title, earning Sliwinski a total of five championships during his cross-country running career.

Sliwinksi also picked up victories at the Wasilla Trailblazer Invitational, the Colony XC Invite, and the Smokin’ Stampede during the regular season.

“David Sliwinski capped off his successful prep cross-country career in an outstanding way,” said Rich Gonzalez, editor of, in the press release. “With the fastest performance of any division at the state meeting, his performance capped a four-year dynasty that has earned three official state team championships and one unofficial team title during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Sliwinski has volunteered locally with Operation Christmas Child, the Community Pregnancy Center, and the annual Veteran’s Day Reception, and has a 4.0 GPA in the classroom while remaining undecided about a college goal.

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