Freshman Leading Way For Dunlap Cross Country

Campbell Petersen Hoping For State Title

PEORIA, Ill. - Campbell Peterson is making this look easy.

Week after week, Dunlap is turning in dominating cross country results with a freshman leading the pack.

"It's really exciting. I wasn't expecting this at all," Campbell Petersen said. "It's way easier when I have the team with me. I wasn't expecting this at all. I was just happy to be on the team."

Petersen is having an amazing first season running high school cross country courses around the state. She's become the No. 1 runner on the state's No.1 girls cross country team.

But she says none of this would've happened had it not been for the help of last year's top runner.

"At first, I'm not going to lie, I was a little bitter," Dunlap senior Franny Verville admitted. "It's hard not being the No. 1 runner for your senior year but I couldn't be happier to have her. It's amazing."

Since Petersen joined the Eagles, they haven't been beaten in a team-scored meet this season.

"It's better at practices. We have somebody always pushing us. always in front," Verville said. "Having her go out and kill it every single time is so awesome to watch. But we can't really watch
because she is so far ahead."

Petersen, who took second at state as an eighth-grader last fall, won the Normal sectional on Saturday.

"She's so welcoming," Petersen said of Verville. "All the girls are welcoming. The seniors are the true leaders. They try to get us all together."

Saturday at Detweiller Park, Petersen hopes to lead the Eagles to a state championship.

"I'm anxious because I am so excited," Petersen said. "I'm nervous because there's so many people."

Yes, so many people. But not too many are in front of her.

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