Peninsula High School
For 18-year-old Peninsula High School senior, Jack Larson, sports are something that keeps him busy all year round. Jack was captain of the football team and is also on track and field. His size has been both a blessing and a challenge for him over the years.
“Being a big guy, it was hard trying to live up to the expectations of being a big guy,” said Jack. “So, I just kept being me, and I’ve gotten very far!”
Jack will attend Eastern Washington University in the fall. He plans to become a prosthetist. “I’ve always wanted to help people, and I thought it would be awesome to get people back on their feet,” he said.
The fact that football is a team sport is one factor that Jack enjoys about playing the game. As for track, “I love the competition I have with myself. I can keep challenging myself to throw farther,” he said.
Gig Harbor High School
A junior at Gig Harbor High School, Bradley Peloquin has already made his mark in both cross country and track and field. He finished third at the 2017 Washington State Cross Country Championships in Class 3A and finished fourth at the 2017 State Track and Field Championships in Class 3A in the 1,600.
“Some of my academic accomplishments include having a cumulative GPA of 3.974, as well as receiving a Teacher Recognition Award in eighth grade at Kopachuck Middle School,” said Bradley.
He shares that long-distance running is a sport that is both physically and especially mentally demanding, which means that his mindset and his mental state have a large impact on his performance in competition, regardless of how physically prepared he is. “For me, the key is to stay mentally tough and focused, even when a situation isn’t ideal—and it usually isn’t,” said Bradley. “Setting short-term goals and always having them in the back of my head has helped me.”
The competition is something that Bradley said he enjoys most about running. “I am extremely competitive by nature, and the feeling of working hard in a race, followed by a successful result, is exhilarating.”
Looking ahead to post-secondary schooling, Bradley said he is interested in engineering and theology. “I enjoy and excel in math and science at Gig Harbor High School, and I’m very active in my Roman Catholic Faith,” he said. Bradley also would like to compete in cross country and track and field at an NCAA Division I university.
While the competition has brought camaraderie and challenges, Bradley said that he has learned important life lessons through being involved in athletics.
“One thing I’ve learned through high school sports is that through hard work you can achieve things that may have seemed impossible to others. I’ve also found that the key to being successful in anything is desire; if you want it bad enough, you can do it!”