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Stanton County's Peterson named Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year

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Stanton County High Student-Athlete named Gatorade Kan sas Girls Track and Field Player of the Year

  • Stanton County's Chesney Peterson (Photos: Heather Kindall Photography)
    Stanton County's Chesney Peterson (Photos: Heather Kindall Photography)

CHICAGO (June 28, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Chesney Peterson of Stanton County High School is the 2022-23 GatoradeKansas Girls Track & Field Player of the Year. Peterson is the first Gatorade Kansas Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Stanton County High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Peterson as Kansas’ best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Peterson joins an elite alumni association of state award- winners in 12 sports, including Jasmine Moore (2018-19, Lake Ridge High School, Texas), Sydney McLaughlin (2016-17, 2015-16 & 2014-15, Union Catholic High School, N.J.), and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa).

The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track & Field Player of the Year, the 5-foot-8 senior won Class 2A individual state championships in the 800, 1600 and 3200-meter events, finishing her season unbeaten in 20 races across four distances. Peterson clocked personal-best performances of 2:10.64, 4:50.13 at the state meet in the 1600 and 10:27.99 in the 3200 to produce a trio of the top 10 times in Kansas history. She concluded her prep career with 66 individual victories in 67 races, and 11 state titles.

The class valedictorian and student council president, Peterson has volunteered locally coordinating blood-donation drives, canned food drives and school recycling programs. A member of the National Honor Society and the Future Farmers of America, she’s also donated her time to the Stanton County Summer Youth Lunch Program. “Chesney Peterson remained a model of consistency in Kansas, going undefeated in 20 races this spring, adding three more state titles and remaining unbeaten against in-state competitors since 2021,” said Erik Boal, editor at “She ranks among the top five prep girls in Kansas prep history in the 800, 1600 and 3200, a feat made more impressive considering that two of the state’s recent graduates—Free State’s Emily Venters and Girard’s Cailie Logue, both former Gatorade POYs—just earned All-America honors in both the 5000 and 10,000 at the NCAA finals.”

Peterson has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on scholarship at University of Tennessee this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Two-time winner Peterson joins recent Gatorade Kansas Girls Track & Field Players of the Year Katelyn Fairchild (2020-21, Andale High School), Dhakiya Blake (2019-20, Leavenworth High School), and Kendra Wait (2018-19, Gardner Edgerton High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit or follow us on social media on Facebook at, Instagram at and Twitter at