Athlete Profile: Katie Peacock makes a comeback


Stella Pavao

Katie Peacock crosses the finish line of the 1600-meter PAL final with a time of 5:10.

When she joined the track and field team this year, Katie Peacock was prepared to have another stellar season.

The sophomore and newly appointed girls varsity track team captain started on a high note, setting two new personal records in the 800-meter and 1600-meter events. Peacock recorded a time of 2:19 in the 800-meter and 5:07 in the 1600-meter. 

Participating in cross country in the fall, track in the spring, and conditioning in between seasons means Peacock is a yearlong athlete. Her dedication to the sport started the summer before her freshman year.

“I got into running because my brother was on a team, and I knew a lot of people on the team, and I kind of just always knew that I would join track in high school,” Peacock said. 

Peacock has quickly asserted herself as an integral part of the team. At the beginning of her sophomore track season, she earned the No. 1 ranking in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) division. However, her progress quickly halted. Shortly after setting her new personal record, Peacock suffered a hip injury in her iliac crest caused by stress and overuse.

It is hard to go through an injury, especially when you are at the top of your game”

— Coach Josh Schaefer

“In running, injuries are really common. Many things can go wrong, whether it is overuse or unexpected circumstances,” said Ian Wong, Peacock’s teammate.

Peacock was no exception to this occurrence; her hip injury prevented her from running for three weeks. While her injury was not season-ending, Peacock could not defend her top ranking.

“It is hard to go through an injury, especially when you are at the top of your game,” said Coach Josh Schaefer.

After three weeks, Peacock could resume her training. Peacock and her coaches worked hard to ensure she picked up where she left off. 

“I definitely tried to ease into it doing a mix of cross-training and lower mileage than I had been doing before,” Peacock said. 

Katie Peacock picks up her medal from the meet officials.

Physically, she was working back toward her pre-injury condition, but mentally, she was eager to hit the ground running.

“The injury also made me really motivated to try to hit the goals that I had had at the beginning of the season, even though I lost a lot of time,” Peacock said.

Despite her early season setbacks, Peacock was able to rebound, and she qualified for the PAL finals in the 1600-meter race. Peacock finished in third place with a time of 5:10, just three seconds over her personal record.

Since she finished in the top three, Peacock will compete in the Central Coast Section Finals on May 20 at Gilroy High School. Not only is she looking forward to making up for lost races, but her injury has also taught her the value of the sport.

“I think definitely, post-injury, I have a newfound appreciation for every opportunity I have to race. So every time I’m racing, I really put in 100% effort because I know I might not have unlimited opportunities to race again after,” Peacock said.