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Peters throwing his weight around for Martinsburg

Track and Field Notebook

Track and Field Notebook

April 18, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

Dustin Peters has shown no signs of rust from his two seasons away from the sport of track and field.

The Martinsburg senior is the Tri-State leader in the discus at 157 feet and second in the shot put at 51 feet. He turned in both of those performances Wednesday while winning both events at the Apple Valley League championships.

"I haven't thrown since my freshman year," said Peters, whose father, Dana Peters, used to coach the throwing events at Hedgesville. "I got hurt my sophomore year in football (torn ACL in left knee) and that took almost eight months of rehabilitation. And junior year, I played baseball.

"This year, I came back out to throw again. I didn't do as well in baseball as I expected."

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Peters lived up to expectations this past fall. He was The Herald-Mail's All-Area First Team quarterback after passing for 1,208 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for 787 yards and 11 TDs during the regular season. He also was named to the West Virginia Class AAA All-State First Team.

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He'll join the football team at West Virginia University this fall to play linebacker as an invited walk-on. He also will reunite on the WVU gridiron with former teammate Nate Sowers, a 2005 Martinsburg graduate who, like Peters, was a star quarterback and discus and shot put thrower for the Bulldogs.

"I used to work out with Nate a lot," Peters said. "It's actually funny. Nate's brothers all went to Hedgesville and my dad coached them in the discus."

Kevin Sowers was the 1993 state runner-up in the discus at 169-7, and Josh Sowers won the 1997 state title with a throw of 161-2 for the Eagles. Nate Sowers placed third in the discus in 2005 at 151-7.

"My goals are 170 in discus and 55 in shot," Peters said. "I'd love to throw 170 - 13 more feet."

He said the long layoff hasn't affected him much, because the throwing techniques are ingrained in him from all those years he spent tagging along to meets and practices with his dad.

"I started throwing when I was about 10 years old," Peters said. "It just came back naturally to me."

· Wednesday was a perfect spring day, and the athletes at the Apple Valley League meet at Jefferson didn't waste it.

The Tri-State's top season performances were posted in seven boys events and five girls events.

"The weather means a lot," Martinsburg coach Ron Gray said. "It brings the best out of the kids."

Jefferson swept both team titles, and the Cougars' performances show in the new area rankings. The Jefferson boys moved from second to first, while the Jefferson girls moved from fifth to second.

· If there was such an event as a brother-sister distance medley, the Finucanes of Mercersburg Academy might set some kind of record.

James Finucane, a senior, ranks first in the area in the boys 3,200 (9:30.4) and second in the 1,600 (4:34.8). Lena Finucane, a junior, ranks first in both the girls 800 (2:28.3) and 1,600 (5:29.0).

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