FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Turnstone athlete and Bishop Dwenger High School senior was honored at the 360Awards banquet Sunday evening at the Parkview Regional Medical Center Mirro Center.
Maggie Peters was one of 30 high school finalists nominated from throughout northeast Indiana for making a positive difference in their home, their school and their community, Turnstone said. She was also named one of the seven $1,000 scholarship winners, the first unanimous selection in the six-year history of the program.
The 360Awards were founded by the RespectTeam, a non-profit organization which began in 2015 with a mission to “encourage healthy respect of self and others through educational programs and relevant connects to the community.”
Peters was nominated for the honor by Turnstone Sports & Recreation Coordinator Kevin Hughes.
“I get to see first-hand how her positive energy spreads to everyone around her,” Hughes wrote. “During events, she’s a fierce competitor. Her light shines the best during her down times at events where people love being around Maggie. Many call Maggie their best friend as she masterfully balances her time of being a high honors student, multi-sport national athlete, big sister to her two younger brothers, and a friend to just about everyone she comes in contact with. The way she divides her day is an asset that she’ll master forever and one that many of us can aspire to be.”
Peters was born prematurely at 25 weeks in the car on the way to the hospital, Turnstone said. Her lungs were underdeveloped and that affected her eyesight with retinopathy of prematurity. This means she’s blind in her right eye and has 20/200 vision in her left. She’s legally blind, and a few years ago her hair fell out because of alopecia.
Turnstone said Peters is a member of the Bishop Dwenger swim team and track team and is an all-American athlete. She also holds several national records. During the 2018 Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals at Turnstone, she participated in 10 swimming events, seven track and field events and the triathlon. She also qualified in archery but there weren’t enough competitors to hold the event.
The Paratriathlon may be her ultimate favorite sport because it allows her to compete in swimming, bicycling and running, all with a guide keeping pace beside to direct her in each event. That includes a half-mile swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run in the same day.
“She is a special person and it would not surprise me if she changes lives for thousands of people,” Turnstone track coach Bob Walda said a few years ago. “The things you learn as a coach and pass it on, she puts in her toolbox and walks away with it. She’s an inspiration to me.”