Rising track star resembles returning Longhorn Olympian


Caleb Fox

Allison Peter, a sophomore, has drawn comparisons to former Longhorn and Olympic gold-medalist Sanya Richards. (Cactus yearbook file photo)

Kristin Otto

Head coach Beverly Kearney sees many similarities between sophomore Allison Peter and former Longhorn Sanya Richard-Ross.

“The only difference between Sanya Richards and Allison Peter is that Sanya Richards came in way more developed — both mentally and physically,” Kearney said. “It’s taken some time for [Peter] to really realize how great she really is. And so physically she’s catching up and as we can see mentally, she’s really beginning to step up.”

Richards-Ross will return to her alma mater this week for the Texas Relays. The NCAA Champion and Olympic Gold medalist is scheduled to run in the 100-meter dash. She will also run a leg as part of the Hart of Texas relay team in the 4×400 meter relay — the same event in which she, as a sophomore, and her teammates set the still-standing Texas Relays record in 2004.

Kearney embraces the return of former Longhorns because it gives current athletes a standard to reach.

“We’re going to have just an amazing group of former Olympians competing,” Kearney said. “I’ve got to give a little love to the Texas Olympians that are going to be competing here this weekend … It’s just an amazing opportunity for us to honor and get an opportunity to watch Texas Olympians.”

With two second place finishes at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, in the 200-meter and as part of the 4×400 meter relay, there is no doubt that Peter is on a fast track to establishing herself as one of the best athletes in the nation. In a whirlwind of recent success, the sophomore has turned to Kearney, as well to former athletes such as Richards-Ross, for motivation and guidance.

“Her humbleness and her composure — that’s what I admire about her,” Peter said.

Richards-Ross’ returning to the Relays is an incentive for Peter, who has intentions of pursuing a professional career as an athlete, to fully realize her potential.

Printed on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 as: Coach likens Peter to UT Olympian