Ex-Wave track star sets eyes on Olympics
Peterson takes a different path to qualify for the Summer games
The final 100 meters of the 4×100 state race.
Fifteen minutes of video review.
0.002 seconds short at winning the gold.
It’s a bittersweet feeling for Fallon grad Colton Peterson, whose lunge at the finish line of the 2018 state championship wasn’t enough for his quartet to leave Carson City as the best relay team in the Silver State. The team broke record after record before falling short of their top goal: winning a state championship.
Peterson, though, crossed the finish line ahead of all other competitors the following year at the state track meet in Las Vegas. Along with helping his team win the 4×100 state title, Peterson added gold medals in the regional competition in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams before becoming the school’s record holder in the 200.
Now, one year removed since winning the gold, Peterson’s training to become an Olympian.
“My goals after high school, even during high school, was to make it to the Olympics,” Peterson said. “I was supposed to attend Oregon, but I felt that it wouldn’t grow me into the athlete I wanted to be. I know it looked like I quit track, but I needed to work on myself and my mindset to be the legendary athlete I work to be.”
As a teenager, Peterson had a vision of becoming not just an athlete, but he wanted to leave a mark.
“I had a vision when I was around 12-13 that I was running extremely fast, running away from the pack, and winning a huge global event,” Peterson recalled. “I saw Usain Bolt running in the 2012 Olympics, and I knew from then that was it. That was my mark to leave.”
Peterson is taking a different path to qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. He planned on running track in college in Oregon but came back to Fallon and started training. Peterson moved to California last month to work with a personal trainer as he eyes the U.S. Olympic Trials next summer.
“If not now, then when?” Peterson said about whether he should wait until after competing in college. “That is my mentality training for it. I know that I can do it, so I have to show the world my vision and show the next generation that anything is possible if your truly believe your dream through all the adversity and work your butt off.”
In addition to training (running and lifting weights), Peterson changed his approach to diet along with studying multiple runners competing in the 100 and 200.
“The rest of my schedule is to work harder than myself tomorrow,” he said. “I chase myself that is already a day ahead of me. I live by the Mamba Mentality. I work every day on creating the best version of myself every day.”
To qualify for the trials, Peterson needs to be under 10.05 seconds in the 100 and 20.24 in the 200. During timed trials last month, he averaged 9.91 with a best time of 9.85 in the 100.
The U.S. Trials is just one of a handful events across the globe that was postponed because of the pandemic, which helps Peterson. The top three finishers in the U.S. Trials advance to the Olympics. The top three times in the 2016 U.S. Trials were 9.80, 9.84 and 9.98. The top three times in the 200 were 19.75, 19.79 and 20.00.
Peterson said the delay has been both a blessing and a curse.
“It has given me more time to study and train to be even greater, but it was hard to lock myself up from going to the gym or track,” he added. “But I bounced back very quickly and found home workouts to develop my fundamentals more and increase my knowledge on how to work different muscle groups. I would’ve been ready, but with the increased time in training and studying, now I am a champion contender.”
Until next summer, Peterson plans to continue his training regime, become a better version of himself and represent his family and community.
“My family, especially my mom, has sacrificed a lot for me,” he said. “We have been through a lot. My mom and my fiancé are huge motivations for me. It’s not just working out for me. It’s working out to provide the best life for my mom and fiancé. It has always been a dream of mine to leave a legacy on this world.”