|Title:||Student-Athlete; Track & Field|
Peter Phelan graduated from Brewer High School in 1996, leaving behind a legacy unmatched in the annals of Brewer Track. Dave Jeffrey, his coach, described Peter as the “greatest male athlete he has ever coached.” Peter was a multi-event star. He was a jumper, hurdler and long distance sprinter. His greatest love was the triple jump, which he received national acclaim. Peter is the only triple jumper in the history of Maine track to jump over 47 feet. On January 27, 1996 in a regular meet of the Eastern Maine Indoor Track League (EMITL) he jumped 47'.25”. He has the three longest jumps in Maine indoor track history. The third of these jumps (46'5”) was recorded at Junior Nationals at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, MA where he placed ninth in the nation. He also set the State of Maine indoor record which can only be set at state meets at 45' 11.75”, a record which still stands today. In fact, since his state record jump in 1996, only one Class A jumper has jumped over 45 feet.
Peter was not just a Triple jumper. When he graduated from Brewer he not only held the triple jump records of 47'.25” for Indoor Track and 45'11” for Outdoor Track, he held Indoor Track school records in the 60 yd high hurdles (7.89), 600 yd run (1:15.7) as well as Outdoor Track school records in the 110m high hurdles (14.91), 300m intermediate hurdles (39.49), long jump (21'11.5”), and as a member of the 4x400m relay (3:33.2). Peter also held several league records: EMITL record in the triple jump as well as PVC outdoor records in the long jump and triple jump. He won a total of five individual State championships, six Eastern Region championships, six PVC championships, and five EMITL championships.
From his sophomore Indoor season on, the Brewer track teams had great success in Eastern Maine, winning EMITL championships in 1994, 1995, and 1996 as well as PVC championships and Eastern Regional championships in 1995 and 1996. During Peter’s junior outdoor season, Peter sustained an injury that prevented him from hurdling, a loss that rang throughout Maine as he was the best hurdler in the state at the time. Facing adversity head on, he persevered volunteering to run the 400m dash where he placed 4th at the state meet. This was just one example of his outstanding sportsmanship.
Peter really came into his own during his senior year and he was also the consummate team player. He realized that team victories were more important than individual records. The 1996 boys indoor track team was very strong, especially in the events Peter excelled in. So to give the team a better chance to win the State Championship he agreed to give up two of his main events, in which he was the top seed, to allow others on the team to score points. Peter ran the 300 yd run (not his best event) and finished 3rd as other team members scored the long jump and 600 yd run. That Brewer Boys’ Indoor Track Team won its only State Championship, partially due to Peter's selflessness, as well as his greatness.
His outstanding accomplishments in Indoor Track his senior year continued into his Outdoor season. The spring of his senior year, he entered 36 events and won 35 of them! During his only defeat, he and his opponent both broke the state record in the 110m high hurdles. He scored 38 points in the 1996 State Meet, winning the long jump, triple jump, 300m hurdles, and finishing 2nd in the 110m high hurdles; this was one of the great athletic performances in Brewer High School history. That team finished 2nd, the highest finish ever by a Brewer Outdoor track team.
Peter received a scholarship to run track at the University of Maine. He ran track at UM his freshman year, but decided to concentrate on his studies for the rest of his college career. He graduated with a Master's degree in Microbiology and Immunology. He now resides in Florida with his wife Kate (Brewer High Class of 1996) and 2 children, Jason (9) and Anna (6). He works at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando.