Class of 1970
Shortly before his retirement from coaching at New Milford High School in the 1980s, legendary coach Russell Devin termed Peter Squires “the best runner” from among the countless standout athletes he had developed at NMHS.
Peter’s resume from the 1960s would bear out his coach’s lofty praise. The relentless Green Wave ace provided plenty of evidence of his superiority by the fashion in which he would pound out the miles, and how he would leave his rivals biting dust along the way.
In cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field, Peter was initially a young prodigy at NMHS, and later a peerless veteran.
That he took his running skills and determined competitive spirit to great heights as an All-American runner at Manhattan College was no surprise to those who’d witnessed his talents as a Green Wave athlete.
Not satisfied with his collegiate achievements, Peter evolved as a national-class road racer and marathon runner with international victories on his ledger. He twice challenged for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, first as a steeplechaser and then in the marathon. Personal-best times of 4:00 in the mile and 2:19:27 in the marathon bespeak his excellence and versatility.
Three times in as many tries he won the New Milford 8-mile road race, and he added a plethora of other wins in the United States and Europe before turning his attentions to a coaching career.
His first noteworthy cross country achievement at NMHS was the first of three straight Western Connecticut Conference individual titles as a freshman.
Peter also proved an able inspiration to his teammates, who complemented their ace en route to three consecutive WCC team titles during his three years at NMHS.
His individual WCC gold medal performance as a sophomore in the fall of 1967 typified his skills as he romped to victory by 33 seconds over a 2.4-mile course. Course records fell often to Peter.
He went on to win the 1968 state class ‘M’ individual title as a junior, his final Green Wave cross country season, adding a runnerup finish at the state open and sixth place in New England.
Peter proved up to the challenge indoors as well, winning the state class ‘B’ mile title in 4:28.4 as a sophomore and bringing home gold as junior team captain in the state class ‘M’ two-mile with a 9:36.7 effort.
The litany of personal records and individual and team victories grew during Peter’s outdoor track & field seasons at NMHS.
He captured the state ‘B’ mile title as freshman in 4:27, adding third place in the two-mile at the state open meet, and fifth in the two-mile and eighth in the mile at the New England meet.
Undefeated in both the mile and two-mile in the WCC as a sophomore, Peter again won the state class ‘B’ mile and this time made it an impressive double by earning gold also in the two-mile.
His final outdoor track & field season as a Green Wave junior in 1969 provided a bevy of highlights. Peter won the WCC mile by 16 seconds and the WCC two-mile by 23 seconds, and soon had added an easy win in the state class ‘M’ two-mile. A runnerup effort in the state open two-mile closed the books on Peter’s remarkable Green Wave career.
For his senior year, Peter headed north to Lyndon Institute in Vermont to prep for college. He then attended New Mexico State, before transferring to Manhattan, where he soon blossomed into one of the nation’s top runners.
Green Wave cross country and track & field have earned countless titles and have boasted many outstanding distance runners. Peter Squires stands front and center among the very best.