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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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Captain Westerfield leads South cross country, track teams

Captain Westerfield leads South cross country, track teams

Marvelous. This is the best word to describe Peter Westerfield, cross country co-captain and all-conference qualifier as well as senior leader in track and field, according to David O’Gara, Westerfield’s junior track and cross country teammate.

Running, though, has not always been a dominant part of Westerfield’s life. He started running in sixth grade, but he stopped after a couple weeks and did not start again until he was a freshman in high school.

“I went to [cross country] practice the first day freshman year and have been doing it ever since,” Westerfield said.

He thought it would be a good way to make friends and meet new people as well as become acclimated to the new high school environment. Now a varsity runner for both cross country and track and field, looking back over the years, Westerfield realizes just how accurate of a prediction that was.

“We really get to know each other and form close-knit groups and become a real team,” Westerfield said. “I would say people who I consider my best friends in school are people who I’ve gotten to know because of cross country and track.”

Westerfield also has earned a reputation of hard work and dedication during his time running track and cross country.

“[Westerfield is] dedicated,” Kurt Hasenstein, head coach of the boys cross country and track teams, said. “He put in 500 miles of running over the summer to get ready for cross country [. . .] dedicated would certainly be the word I’d use to describe him.”

O’Gara also notes how, even after some of the toughest practices, Westerfield has continued to challenge himself. Particularly memorable for O’Gara was a time when Westerfield didn’t have a ride, and rather than wait or go with someone else, Westerfield jogged the entire way home.

Chris Hilvert, assistant coach for cross country and distance coach in track and field, agreed on Westerfield’s dedication and feels Westerfield leads by example.

“He’s not a real vocal guy, he’s kind of a quiet guy, a quiet captain, but his work ethic, his determination, and the way he goes about running practices and running meets is as good as anyone,” Hilvert said.

Dan Weathers, co-captain of both cross country and track, feels that Westerfield can also be quite a personable leader.

“I think [Westerfield] acts as a very strong emotional leader [. . .] he’s always there for the athletes,” Weathers said. “He’s the kind of person you can go to if you’re having a bad day, if you didn’t run the race you wanted to do, [or] if you had a bad time.”

Westerfield ran the three mile with a time of 15:49 in the CSL cross country meet in October. He ranked fourteenth out of 42 runners at the six-school race, a finish that he even impressed himself with.

“After the race I was pretty sure I hadn’t made [all-conference],” Westerfield said. “Then someone told me I had, and it was really nice to know that after all these years I had gotten to where I wanted to be.”

According to Hasenstein, Westerfield’s coach for all four years, in both cross country and track, Westerfield is primarily a distance runner. His main events in track are usually the 800 meter, half mile, one mile, and two mile races. But one race in particular is most enjoyable for Westerfield.

“I’d say my favorite or best event is the 2 mile because I’m more of a distance person and always have been [. . .] I’m able to keep my endurance up, which allows me to push as hard as I can,” Westerfield said.

Cross country and track have also been physically demanding for Westerfield, who has suffered some type of injury every year. According to Westerfield, it would have been easy to just get up and walk away, but the pain and effort has been worth it.

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