Northwest Herald Athletes of the Week for Sept. 8-15


Renata Petersen, Crystal Lake Central co-op, girls golf

Petersen turned in the best performance of her career Saturday at Prairie View in Byron, firing a 3-over-par 75 at the Stillman Valley Invitational. 

Petersen finished runner-up individually as the Tigers took second out of 11 teams. On Tuesday, the Crystal Lake Central junior was fourth at the McHenry County Tournament. 

Petersen was voted as the Northwest Herald Female Athlete of the Week by readers. She answered these questions from Northwest Herald sports writer Alex Kantecki. 

What do you remember most about your performance last weekend at the Stillman Valley Invite?

Petersen: My driving. I’ve been struggling a lot with that and I've worked hard to improve that part of my game. That day, my driver was working really well. It shows my hard work paid off. It's really exciting.

Which course would you play for the rest of your life?

Petersen: Crystal Lake Country Club. It’s the first course I ever played, since I grew up here. It's really pretty.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions before you play?

Petersen: Before I play, I get really nervous. The thing I do is I say a little prayer and it really calms me down. I play my best when I do that.

What is your most memorable moment playing golf?

Petersen: My most memorable shot was during my sophomore year at county. I made a 40-foot putt for a birdie at Boone Creek. I scored a 76, and, at the time, it was a personal best.

What is your favorite TV show?

Petersen: SpongeBob SquarePants.

Which professional athlete would like you to hang out with for a day?

Petersen: Tiger Woods.

What is your favorite wild animal?

Petersen: Elephant.

If you could have any vehicle, what would it be?

Petersen: I kind of want to own my own golf cart.

What is the scariest thing that you’ve ever done?

Petersen: Skyline Drive in Colorado Springs.

What is the coolest place you’ve ever visited?

Petersen: Cancun, Mexico. There are underground caves and I got to swim in them.

How is your season going so far?

Petersen: I think my season is going really well. I feel really confident, more confident than I've ever felt during high school.


Peter Walsdorf, Marian Central, boys cross country

Marian Central junior Peter Walsdorf has opened the cross country season with a strong month, starting with his fourth-place finish at the McHenry County Meet.

Walsdorf ran 15:33 in the Peoria Central Invitational last Saturday at Peoria’s Detweiller Park, where the IHSA Cross Country State Meet will be held in November. He finished 10th in the Class 2A race, the highest local finish in that class.

Walsdorf was voted the Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Week and answered a few questions from sports writer Joe Stevenson.

What do you remember most about your performance last weekend?

Walsdorf: I remember getting a second wind with about three-quarters of a mile left in the race that allowed me to catch up to two kids so that I could pass them in the last 200 meters.

What is your preferred footwear for running?

Walsdorf: I don’t really have a preferred shoe, but my preferred socks are Balega ankle-length socks.

What is a song on your playlist that would surprise people?

Walsdorf: “Lost Boy” by Ruth B. or “Un Poco Loco” from Coco.

What is a sports moment so huge that you’ll always remember where you were when it happened?

Walsdorf: Kris Jenkins’ game-winner for Villanova in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to win the championship over North Carolina. I was at home watching with my dad (Jack).

What is the best part about competing in sports?

Walsdorf: The best part about sports is having fun with your teammates and opponents. If I didn’t havve fun, I would stop playing sports.

What do you eat in the morning before a big race?

Walsdorf: Usually Eggo waffles and fruit.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you in a race?

Walsdorf: Once I forgot to tie both of my shoelaces before a race and didn’t notice until three laps into the 1,600 meters (which is four laps) during track.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be?

Walsdorf: Jesus.

What is your favorite wild animal?

Walsdorf: Polar bears.

What is the last really good book you read?

Walsdorf: “Virgin Territory” by Randy Sharer (a story about Illinois running legend Craig Virgin).

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