The state of Virginia is losing a big-time cross country talent this fall.
Peter Smith, the reigning Class 6A Virginia High School League champion and a rising senior, is transferring from Oscar Smith High to Gig Harbor, a nationally relevant program in Washington that last won Nike Cross Country Nationals (NXN) in 2013, MileStat learned recently.
Smith, who ran a personal best of 15:15.00 at the MileStat Invitational and produced a Class 6A title in a time of 15:22.00 in November -- before missing out on a qualification to Foot Locker Nationals -- also should boost Gig Harbor in track and field, where Smith enters with a best of 1:52.00 in the 800m and 4:17.90i in the 1600m, as well as 9:42.59 in the 3200m.
Smith was the state runner-up in the 800m and was seventh in the 1600m.
He joins a Gig Harbor team that finished sixth in last year's Class 3A Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association Cross Country Championships, but returns four juniors and one sophomore. Sophomore Bradley Peloquin, whose family's pedigree includes Brenna (sixth at this year's NCAA Cross Country Championships) and Tristan (16th at NXN in 2013), was sixth overall at the state championships.
In recent years, Gig Harbo's cross country and distance program has seen help from assistant coaches Mark Wieczorek, a three-time Olympic trialist, and Casimir Loxsom, the current indoor 600m world record holder. Both professionals are also former Brooks Beast professional athletes.