Annville-Cleona distance runner, field hockey standout Braetan Peters is named LNP LL League Female Athlete of the Year | High School Sports

Braetan Peters is always on the move.

The recent Annville-Cleona graduate was poetry in motion during her outstanding four-year athletic career representing the Dutchmen. She was a standout in cross country, field hockey — crossing over to participate in both of those sports in the fall — and track, and she was also a dynamo in the classroom.

Peters is a true student-athlete personified, and for her prowess on the cross country course, field hockey pitch and on the track, she’s the LNP|LancasterOnline Lancaster-Lebanon League Female Athlete of the Year.

“She’s so driven and goal-oriented,” AC cross country and track and field coach Caitlin Heller said. “Braetan was always willing to put in the work outside of practice. We were definitely spoiled to be able to share her.”

Here’s a fun fact: Peters was an accomplished figure skater for a dozen years — she even competed in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 1980 winter Olympics — but gave it up when COVID-19 hit and local rinks shuttered their doors.

There was a time when she was juggling a schedule that included early morning skating practice, early morning runs, cross country practice and meets, field hockey practice and games, and track practice and meets — while taking AP and Honors classes in school.

Peters ended up mastering time management at an early age, and she’ll always be remembered for her legendary workout routine — up before the sun at 4:30 am for a 5 am run — and never, ever cutting corners.

“We always joked with Braetan about how many miles she ran before school,” AC field hockey coach Carrie Gingrich said, chuckling.

Instilled by family’s love for fitness, Annville-Cleona’s Braetan Peters is a 2-sport standout this fall

“She has left behind a great legacy, and she’s a great example of what it means to put in a lot of hard work,” Heller noted. “Braetan exemplified that. She definitely helped change the culture of our entire program.”

That’s some pretty high praise.

Peters put up a sparkling resume in her senior year:

Last fall in cross country, she had a comfortable lead in the LL League finale at Ephrata Middle School, but about halfway through the race she missed a flag and took a wrong turn.

“I was so in the zone,” Peters said, “I wasn’t even thinking and I just missed it.”

She recovered in time to finish 11th, her best effort in four league cross country championships. The flag snafu only motivated Peters moving forward, and she delivered in the District 3 Class 1A finals, pacing the field with a 20:10 to successfully defend her crown at Big Spring in Newville.

She also helped AC capture the coveted team title that day.

“Super happy and grateful for that to happen again,” Peters said of her district repeat. “I really worked hard for that.”

“What a work ethic,” Gingrich marveled. “She works at it so hard. She didn’t expect to just go out there and run and win the district two years in a row. She worked to get that. I can’t say enough about her.”

Peters capped her cross country season at the tricky Parkview course in Hershey with a 20:23 in the PIAA finals, good for an 11th-place finish.

In field hockey, Peters helped AC win 13 games and go to the district playoffs for the fourth year in a row. The wing forward potted six goals and was a second-team Section 3 all-star selection.

After completing the district cross country finals, Peters hoofed it to a field hockey district playoff game at Lancaster Mennonite. And after she finished up the cross country state finals, she was whisked to Lower Dauphin for another district field hockey game.

That’s dedication.

“She’s so amazing and so driven,” Gingrich said. “She made such an impact for us and our programs.”

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Peters had a standout spring on the track for the Dutchmen. In the LL League finals at Hempfield, she ran a personal-record 5:18 to take the silver in the 1,600, and she ran a PR 11:25 to claim sliver in the 3,200, her trademark events.

In the district finals at Shippensburg University, she clocked an 11:35 to win silver in the 3,200, and Peters took bronze in the 1,600 in 5:27, but failed to make the state finals in that event.

In the PIAA championships back at Shippensburg, Peters took 12th in the 3,200 in 11:30.

Peters will continue her cross country and track careers at Elon University, a Division I program in North Catholic that competes in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“Her mindset for her senior year was to relax and enjoy it,” Heller said. “She was focused on running her best at the end-of-the-season meets, and to leave a legacy of working hard and being able to balance everything. She wanted to relax, let it rip, go out and just run her best and soak it all in.”

Peters summed up her senior year in one word.

“Memorable,” she said. “So many things happened, and each one meant a lot. Last race in cross country. Last race in track. I don’t think it’s even hit me yet that I’m done with high school. I’m looking forward to running in college. I’ll have more to do. I’ll have more races to run. I’m excited for that — even though it doesn’t feel like this is over yet.”

Outside the gymnasium in the high school, AC has an entire wall dedicated to honoring Dutchmen student-athletes who succeeded at the league, district and state level. It’s like a who’s-who of the top athletes in the history of the school.

Peters’ accomplishments are now up on that wall.

“That made it real,” she said. “I’m up there on that wall and it’s staying there. I was able to make a mark on my school. I was able to accomplish all of this, and now I’m up there on that wall with all the great athletes who have come through Annville.”

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