Amy Peterson Peck's Sons Following In Her Skates

By Stan Hudy, The Saratogian | March 28, 2018, 12:18 a.m. (ET)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> Schuylerville resident and Saratoga Springs’ adopted speed skating darling Amy (Peterson) Peck skated like it was 1994 over the weekend at her adopted hometown Weibel Avenue Rink and found herself on the medal stand once again.

A lot has changed since the four-time Olympian earned three medals for team USA in short track speed skating and each change brings out a smile in the diminutive speedster.

“I always knew I wanted to get married, have a family,” Amy Peck said. “I never thought about how many kids, boys, girls, I think I just took it in stride. I got married, had one kid, had another, you know, and then now, then four boys.”

All four boys were in tow this weekend at the Weibel Avenue Rink as the Saratoga Winter Club, 10-year old Hansen, 9-year old Hudson, 7-year old Hayden and 4-year old Henry as the 45-year old Peck won three out of four events and captured the master group one women’s age group and she can credit Hudson Peck with bringing her back into the racing realm.

“At the beginning of the year she was skating a lot and it was the first year that I really had a chance to get the time for (age-classification) nationals,” Hudson Peck said. “I just made a deal with her.”

The deal was, if Hudson met the qualifying time for the Saratoga Winter Club hosted US Speedskating Nationals, Amy would also look to qualify and compete. “

“I knew she was going to make the time, I wasn’t sure I was going to make the time,” Hudson Peck said “It was a deal - I was excited when she made the time.”

It brought the 45-year Olympian out of racing retirement.

“I hadn’t raced in years, but, the national long track championships were in Lake Placid and an old teammate of mine and I talked and we kind of said ‘If you race, I’ll race and it’d be fun’ and so we did it.”

The Saratoga Winter Club competitor and coach filled her weekend with three wins – 1,000-meter age group 1 women’s final in 1 minute, 44.011 seconds, the 777-meter final in 1:18.231 and the 1,500-meter title, winning in 2:56.292. 

She just missed out on a Saratoga Winter Club sweep, coming in second in the 500-meter finals at 49.995 seconds, edged out by a toe by Cherise Wilkins by 2/1000ths of a second.

But for Peck it was about all four boys taking in the US Nationals at their home rink, including competitors Hansen and Hudson.

“I just wanted to try a new sport and that was what I came up with and I learned it from my mom,” 10-year old Hanson Peck said. “That’s when I started knowing what the sport was once I asked her ‘Could I try skating? She said ‘Sure.’”

Speed skating became automatic for the oldest boy.

“I played hockey for one year, it didn’t fit with me,” Hansen Peck said. “I felt like speed skating is better for me, it’s basically like NASCAR on ice when you’re racing.”

Skating in one form or another has always been an option for the Pecks.

“We took them here to the Weibel Ave rink for public session, it took like 20 minutes to get all this stuff on him (Hansen) and he might have lasted 10 minutes,” Amy Peck said. “I was still trying to get to the club and help coach a little bit and get back into it. 

“The very last couple of weeks of the season there’s less skaters at the practices so they’re like ‘Bring him over. So I brought him and brought him out the first night. He lasted an hour and a half.”

Each boy has embraced the sport and being around the Saratoga Winter Club family.

“I think it just got easier to bring the next boy along to go with Hansen and me to skating practice,” Amy Peck said. “They each started pushing the bucket around out there on the speed skates and it just kind of advanced through. One’s racing and the next one says, ‘Why can’t I race?’ And the next thing you know, this year they’re all racing.”

Seven-year old Hayden missed out on racing this weekend, too young to compete at the US Nationals, but he has set his sights high.

“I want to be like mom…and faster,” Hayden Peck said. 

He admitted being nervous his first time on skates and then long-bladed speed skates.

“I was a little scared,” Hayden Peck said. “I was worried about falling on my face.”

He’s still working on his technique preparing for age-graded competitions.

“I’m doing my crossovers well (in turns) and skating down low, crossovers aren’t hard for me,” Hayden Peck said. “This rink is where I set my best times; usually I’m skating against 11-year-olds and 13-year-olds. It’s cool because I’m younger and I have a good time for my age.”

The youngest skater, Henry, was battling a cold with a runny nose all weekend, but was eager to share about one of his favorite sports.

“I wanted to be in the Olympics,” Henry Peck said. “I watched the Olympics on TV. They were super good.”

Even at a young age he hasn’t limited himself to just lacing up skates.

“I play soccer, lacrosse, football,” Henry Peck said. “I think I’m going to do this for a while.”

That’s fine with Amy Peck.

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