Nike Southwest Regionals (NXR) . Tempe, AZ
Nike Southwest Regionals (NXR) was Emma’s last race of the season, and we couldn't be prouder of how she finished her 2021 XC season. She was 47th out of 181 in the coveted championship race, 2nd for her team, and finished the race in 18:39 on a hot, dusty course after battling a week of being congested. While her time is impressive, what is even more impressive is the fact that she ran the 5K on a crappy course that ended up being longer than an official 5K (3.10 miles). Many logged it as over 3.20 miles which means that her true 5K time was about 30 seconds faster. Some overhead several of the Nike officials talking about how they really messed it up this year. Well isn't that nice...looks like we may be looking at Footlocker for next year's regional race. On a positive note, the Pine Creek girls team placed 9th out of the top 22 teams from Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. The girls decided to race as a team this year and to just have fun and that is exactly what they did. It was fun to watch them run out to the starting line as a team holding the flag with their team's name written on it. This truly was a great way to end an awesome season.
Emma's Cross Country Season
AUGUST 28, 2021
CHERRY CREEK LOHMAN INVITATIONAL
CHERRY CREEK HS
5K - 20:30.20
The first meet of the season was up in Denver at Cherry Creek HS. Emma was a little nervous to run the course since it was all pavement, and she prefers to run on the dirt trail. I'm afraid she got in her head a little bit about the course but still was able to run a good race despite the weather being a little too hot and her calves being a little too tight. She wasn't too thrilled with her time as she wanted to be under 20 minutes. The first meet is not always going to be the best meet, but it is a good time to work out the kinks. Emma's motto after this race was to shake it off and move on.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
5K - 19:17.42 (PR)
Emma went into this meet with nerves as always and a stomach that wasn't feeling quite right. At the beginning of the race, she was in the front pack with five other girls. I yelled at her to stay with the pack. I was really hoping she would be able to do it. As I waited on the trail for the girls to do their out and back, I was floored when I saw the lead bike and the first-place girl come down the trail with Emma right behind. She was in 2nd place!!! She was only a few steps in front of her teammate, but she was able to maintain her position. As she ran up the last hill, Mike was there to encourage her and to tell her how far the girl behind her was. Emma took off like a bullet, running into the track at a 5:30 pace and rounded the last corner to the finish line at a 5:05 pace. She finished the race in an all-time PR of 19:17. She was beyond excited and surprised by her performance. This was a really good meet for Emma. After this meet Emma was ranked #8 in CO for the sophomore girls.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
LIBERTY BELL INVITATIONAL
5K - 19:35.20
There was so much pressure going into this meet as it is the highlighted meet of the season at elevation. Liberty Bell is a fast-paced course with both pavement and trail sections. It is the one meet where the athletes usually get their elevation PRs. Emma was super nervous today and her calves were still a little tight. Her goal was to break 19 min. She was seeded to be 2nd on her team at the starting line but at the last minute one of her teammates who is a senior, decided that she was going to take the 2nd spot. Emma was so nervous that she let her. After the gun went off Emma was tripped by the girl next to her but luckily didn't fall. She ran hard and even though after she told us that all she wanted to do was stop because she was hurting so bad, she kept on running. She finished the course in 19:35 which was still faster than any of her times from last season. She ran through the finish line and saw the clock which said 22 something and was so upset. What she didn't realize was the clock was the correct time for the boy's race which was 3 minutes before the girls Sweepstakes A race. She was somewhat relieved when I told her that she ran in the 19 min range. Her sweet teammate and friend Lauren grabbed some ice for Emma's legs. There is always something to learn from each race...stand up for yourself, give it all you have even when you are not feeling 100%, and be kind to yourself when you fall short of your goal.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
QUEEN CREEK, AZ
5K - 18:08.10 (NEW ALL TIME PR)
Desert Twilight XC Festival 2021 in Arizona was a BLAST! This was the MOST exciting race I’ve ever watched Emma run. It is the most coveted race of the season because it is a place where these kids who train at elevation can PR big time. And that is exactly what happened tonight. This race which is run late at night is so unique and so fun. Emma came in 1st for her team, 27th overall in the elite Sweepstakes race (23 teams from all over the Southwest) crossed the finish line in 18:08.09 (5:50 pace) and took 1 min and 9 sec off her previous best time. I believe her girls team also came in 4th overall. I’m in constant awe at her abilities and her sportsmanship. She is humble and kind to all her teammates. My favorite part of the night was turning around at the finish and watching Peter just hug her and jump up and down with excitement. He flew in just to watch her run. It was so fun to have Peter here to witness such an exciting time in Emma’s running career.
mandatory study time
warming up before the race
OCTOBER 1, 2021
DOHERTY SPARTAN INVITATIONAL
BEAR CREEK PARK EAST
5K - 18:42.00 (NEW ELEVATION PR)
Emma had another great meet running at the Doherty Spartan Invitational. This course was new to our team, but it ran along some of the same sections as the State meet course. With a few more hilly sections, this course has been deemed as one the hardest courses of the season. After coming off an extremely successful meet in Arizona, Emma was full of positive energy. With 1K into the course she was sitting where she normally does which is right next to her teammate Madelyn. She ran in line with her until the grind up the long hilly section where she pulled away. By the time she made it to the top and started her way downhill and on the flats, she was well ahead and in 3rd place. Running a 5:15 pace on that last flat section (I only know that from zooming into her watch) she closed the gap between her and the second-place girl. She finished strong in 3rd place, only 2 seconds behind the 2nd place girl. Emma managed to pull out an elevation PR of 18:42.00 on a really tough course. The Pine Creek girls team placed 2nd at this meet. Heritage HS from Denver took 1st. Currently, Emma is ranked #9 in CO for Sophomore girls.
OCTOBER 8, 2021
PPAC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS
NORTH MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 18:59.36
With three weeks in a row of racing, no one really knew how this race was going to play out. Emma seemed to be in good spirits all week and even when we were strategizing about the course, she said she wasn't all that nervous. We have been doing everything we can to keep her legs in tip top shape such as Grastron scraping, manual therapy stretching and pressure point therapy with Jenna who she and I see weekly for PT. The new thing as of late has been active release therapy (ART) with Dr. Wood. She has been able to run without super tight calves which has been awesome. He also makes sure her hips are in alignment since she tends to get out of alignment like her mom. Having done all of that, there is never any guarantees how an athletes legs are going to feel. At the beginning of the race Emma was in the same position she usually is in at the beginning of her races. She was in the front pack but never out in front. She tends to hang to the back of that fast pack and between mile 1 and 2 she usually makes her move and starts passing those in front of her. Just before mile 2 she had moved from 6th to 2nd place and held that position until the finish line where she pushed hard enough that last stretch to give herself a sub 19 minute finish time. With only 18 seconds behind her friend and club teammate Tessa, Emma finished in 18:59. It is worth noting that Emma has been consistently at least 40 seconds behind Tessa the entire season. So, this was quite a run for Emma on tired legs. The Pine Creek girls varsity team placed 1st for the fourth year in a row. The girls were quite excited by this huge accomplishment. I love this girls team so much and we will truly miss the seniors who are leaving next year as well as Alexis and Mikayla who will most likely be doing some serious biking.
OCTOBER 21, 2021
COLORADO 5A REGIONALS 5
NORTH MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 18:59.30
There was lots of excitement heading into Regionals. Emma seemed excited and a little nervous about an upset tummy she had been having all week, which made me all the more nervous as I watched her get ready to run this race. The beginning of the race was like most races she runs. She was out in the front pack but not out in front. She was sitting nicely in between four of her teammates as they pushed each other along the course. At mile one she was right where she usually is and by mile 2 I was expecting to see her further ahead but she was trailing by almost 10 seconds behind two of her teammates. I cheered her on at this point and told her to go and catch them. When she got to the top of the hill she told me that she just sprinted to catch up. By the last 800m stretch she and Maddie pushed each other to the last stretch of the race. Emma came in 3rd, only 2 seconds behind Maddie for an amazing finish to a somewhat mentally tough race. Emma ended up finishing in about the same time as last meet but was just ever so slightly faster. All the girls on the Pine Creek varsity XC team ran an amazing race and their team came in 1st for Regionals for the 4th year in a row. All 5 of their top scoring girls on the team came in the top 15, each earning an individual spot in the State meet. What an amazing accomplishment for these super talented girls!
OCTOBER 30, 2021
COLORADO 5A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
NORRIS PENROSE EVENTS CENTER
5K - 19:07.80
It is always exciting to make it to the State Championship race and all the more nerve racking to run this race in Colorado. Colorado has some of the best female runners in the nation. In fact, two of the high school teams that are in the 5A category are #3 and #6 in the nation (Cherry Creek and Arapahoe). That being said, the Pine Creek girls team held their own in a competitive field of runners. Emma ran this tough course in 19:07.80 which is a new state course PR for her. She cut over a minute off of her time from last year which is amazing. She tied with her teammate as they crossed the finish line as the first two girls on their team. Emma came in 27th place overall. Even though some of her teammates struggled on the course, their team was still able to take 5th place which is the best their team has ever done at a state meet. This truly was a great season for Emma and one in which she will never forget.
Madeline's XC Season with Landsharks
Madeline joined the Landsharks running team at her school and ran cross country for the very first time. She started a few weeks after school started and had practice twice a week. Talli, the MVE coach, was so good with the kids and just took Madeline under her wing. Every time I picked up Madeline Talli would just tell me what a great job she did at practice. The kids ran and played lots of running games and other fun games during their practices. I love this program because it teaches the kids to have fun and be active at the same time. After a few weeks of practices, they had a meet on 3 different Mondays. The kindergartners were only allowed to run in the 1/2-mile race. The separated the kids into different heats based on grade level, so she only ran with other little kindergartners. The very first meet was a little chilly, but she toughed it out and was all smiles the entire race. With each meet, I saw her get more and more comfortable with the other kids on her team and with racing. The goal was for her to have fun and to not stop during each race she ran. She did such an amazing job. She ran the 1/2 mile in under 5 minutes every meet and didn't stop at all during each one of her races. I am so proud of Madeline for doing something she has never done before. Maybe we will have another runner in the family!
MOUNTAIN VIEW ES
SEPTEMBER 20, 2021
1/2 mile - 4:54
MOUNTAIN VIEW ES
SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
1/2 MILE - 4:39
MOUNTAIN VIEW ES
OCTOBER 4, 2021
1/2 MILE - 4:39
Emma's XC Season
Emma was super excited that she would be able to run in her very first HS XC season. She came into the season with stomach issues and some Achilles pain, but she was able to push through some of it and still made the varsity team. She also struggled during the time trial and so we gave her an inhaler to use during the course of the season. Emma's first meet of her high school career was a very difficult meet at Doherty HS. The course was unfamiliar, had a creek crossing, and the air quality was so bad. Even still, she was excited to race. She came in 3rd for her team which was awesome. Her time was definitely not where she thought it would be, but it just wasn't a course for stellar times. Emma didn't race the 2nd meet to let her Achilles rest and did about the same as the first race during the 3rd and 4th meets. Just as her achilles was getting better, her stomach seemed to be getting worse. It wasn't until the 5th meet at Fountain Creek Regional Park that we started to see Emma improve. She improved her time into the mid 20's and was looking stronger. She maintained that level of performance for the 6th meet as well. The highlight of Emma's season was definitely the 7th meet which was the League Championships. I was so impressed with how Emma ran and finished her race. She was in wave 2 which starts 3 min after the first wave. Emma looked strong the entire race. It was like watching her when she ran at Nationals last year. No Achilles pain and no stomach pain to slow her down. She came in with many of the first wave girls, placed 3rd overall in the League and got a new high-altitude PR of 19:45. 7 out of the top 10 were also girls from her team which was awesome. Her team grabbed the League title this year! Emma tried hard to repeat that race the following week at Regionals, but the weather was so hot, she had just found out that she had asthma for real, and her stomach was in poor shape. It was all she could do to hold on and finish the race. Even though she didn't PR at Regionals, it was the race I was most proud of because of how much heart she had while she was running. She was struggling and she didn't give up. Her team grabbed the title of Regional champions which meant those 6 girls that ran at Regionals qualified for the XC State Championship race. Emma was really hoping to break 20 minutes at State. It was so fun to watch her run with all the best runners at the 5A division in Colorado. She ran a good race on a really tough course. Her team placed 6th overall which is better than their seeded place of 9th. Emma finished in 20:34. This season has definitely had its ups and downs and challenges with stomach problems, Achilles pain and most recently, asthma. But, through all of it Emma persevered and ran incredibly well. As the only Freshman on her team she learned so much from her teammates who are now her good friends!
Meet 1 (Doherty HS) - 21:40.62
Meet 3 (Rampart HS) - 21:50.80
Meet 4 (Norris Penrose Events Center) - 21:00.20
Meet 5 (Fountain Creek Regional Park) - 20:43.75
Meet 6 (Greeley, CO) - 20:28.80
Meet 7 (MVP - League) - 19:45.20
Meet 8 (MVP - Regionals) - 21:17.56
Meet 9 (Norris Penrose Events Center - State) - 20:34.20
MEET #1 - DOHERTY HS
MEET #3 - RAMPART HS
MEET #4 - CHEYENNE MTN STAMPEDE (NORRIS PENROSE EVENTS CENTER)
MEET #5 - FOUNTAIN CREEK REGIONAL PARK
This is what it looks like when you are hurting so bad but keeping pushing anyways. She is my hero.
MEET #7 - LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS (MVP)
MEET #8 - REGIONALS (MVP)
MEET #9 - STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS (NORRIS PENROSE EVENTS CENTER)
Peter's XC Season
After training with Kokopelli's during COVID, Peter was a little nervous that his last XC season wouldn't happen. Peter was so excited when he finally found out the beginning of August that cross country was a go. Even with all of the new guidelines and the cancelled invitational meets, Peter was just happy that he would be able to compete his senior year. It wasn't until the time trial that we realized Peter was going to have a rocky season. With all of the smoke from the various fires in the west, Peter really had a hard time breathing. It was then that we knew he had to start using his inhaler that he never really had to use before. The very first meet of the season was at Doherty HS. It was delayed by one day due to some torrential rain and flooding the day prior. Peter forgot to use his inhaler and had the worst meet ever. Not able to break 19 minutes and no kick at the end, I knew Peter would be so disappointed. He decided to take the next meet off to recoup and wait for better air quality. Meets 3 and 4 were also disappointing races for Peter and he couldn't seem to get his time below 19 minutes. With hot weather and bad air quality and lungs that were inflamed, Peter struggled to run at the pace he ran last season. It wasn't until the 5th meet at Fountain Creek Regional Park where Peter finally had a great race. He looked focused and after using his inhaler and being able to run in good weather, he destroyed it on the course. He came in at 17:52.94, cutting more than a minute off of his previous times and beating out some of his teammates that were in the first wave. I couldn’t have been more excited for Peter and everyone on the team heard it as he rounded the last few corners and passed an opponent he had been trailing the entire race! This race would turn out to be the highlight of his season. The last three races of the season went ok. He was able to knock out times in the low to mid 18's but was never able to break into that 17 minute time again. If there is anything Peter learned from this season it was to never give up and keep working hard. Peter did work hard the entire season, even when he was down emotionally and physically. He had awesome teammates who helped him along the way. This may not have been the season Peter had hoped for, but he should be proud of himself for what he accomplished with all of his physical problems and during a time when things were not normal during COVID. This will definitely be a season he will never forget.
Meet 1 (Doherty HS) - 19:02.12
Meet 3 (Rampart HS) - 19:03.5
Meet 4 (Norris Penrose Events Center) - 19:07.80
Meet 5 (Fountain Creek Regional Park) - 17:52.94
Meet 6 (Greeley, CO) - 18:39.50
Meet 7 (MVP - League) - 18:41.24
Meet 8 (MVP - Regionals) - 18:16.68
MEET #1 - DOHERTY HS
I love how they pray before they race. What a great tradition they started two years ago.
MEET #3 - RAMPART HS
MEET #4 - CHEYENNE MTN STAMPEDE (NORRIS PENROSE EVENTS CENTER)
Warming up with masks...COVID rules
Most of the races took the top 7 but the Cheyenne Mtn. Stampede and Regionals only took 6 runners. Since there were really 8 boys on Varsity sometimes some of the boys had to sit out of the race. It was a tough season like that.
MEET #5 - FOUNTAIN CREEK REGIONAL PARK
This was the fire I waited for all season long. This was his best race of the season. He rounded the last few corners like his life was on the line. It was such a cool moment.
MEET #7 - LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS (MVP)
MEET #8 - REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (MVP)
Emma's Kokopelli JOXC Season
This year Emma decided that she wanted to try the Junior Olympic XC series with the Kokopelli Running Club she has been part of the last 2 years. She took a week off after middle school season ended and started right back up with Kokopelli and some of her friends. Her goals this season was to do well in State so that she would qualify for Regionals and then Nationals. She had a rocky start at the Parker Invitational where she ran her first 4K ever and had to figure out pacing for a longer race. It was at this race we realized that would need spikes for future meets. For the Kokopelli Invitational Emma was more focused and prepared and ran and amazing race, cutting almost 40 seconds from her time the previous race. She ran through mud and snow but that didn’t stop her from running fast. At the JOXC State meet in Lyons, CO Emma didn’t PR, but she still held onto a good time and a great overall place. Emma’s best races of the season were at Regionals in Albuquerque and Nationals in Madison. Mike, Madeline and I drove with Emma to Albuquerque for the Regional meet. The weather and elevation were absolutely perfect. She PR’d by 16 seconds, with a time of 15:31 and an 11th place finish. out of 121 runners. Her team also came in first and they were all awarded with medals for that. The girls were so excited that all of them qualified for the National meet. We took the entire family to support Emma at her National meet in Madison, WI. The weather was extremely cold, with a high of 26F and a real feel of 13F during the race. It truly was an impressive race to watch as somehow her legs just moved faster than she had ever run before despite the cold. She PR’d again but this time by over 30 seconds, with a time of 14:55 and a 29th place finish out of 316 runners. Her pace was a flat 6:00 per mile! Her age group girls team took place once more. All of her hard work throughout the season paid off and we were all so glad we could be there to witness it, along with Aunt Kim, Uncle Al and cousin Haley.
4K - 16:33.79 (7th out of 54)
OCTOBER 12, 2019
This was Emma's first race longer than 1.5 miles and she was pretty nervous. It does help that she is now on the same team as some of her friends who are in different middle schools and with whom she was competing against during the middle school season. She loves being able to run with Bethany, Jade and Eliza. Those four girls are quite the strong group of runners. We got there quite early so that she could run part of the course with Bethany. It was so cold when we got there but luckily it warmed up before the 13-14 girls race which started at 11:00am. Emma's first half of the race was not her best. She was way behind Jade, who she is normally running right behind, and she was positioned in 12th place. I was a little worried until I saw her come down the last long stretch of the race. She had moved into 7th place. She looked strong and was right on the tail of the girl in 6th. Clearly, this was a great race to learn how to pace herself for a 4K. She finished the race in 16:33.79 which is a 6:39/mile pace. Not too shabby for her first race of the JOXC season.
FOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK
4K - 15:47.75 (7th out of 48)
NOVEMBER 2, 2019
Emma' second meet was at the Kokopelli Invitational down in Fountain. Earlier in the week it had snowed so the kids ran the course during the week in preparation for the race. Luckily some of the snow had melted by race day. Emma ran in cross country spikes for the very first time at this meet. She was definitely more prepared to run a better race than the Parker meet a few weeks prior. Mike, Peter, and I cheered her on for this race. I went to the backside loop and Peter and Mike stayed closer to the start and finish. I was so impressed by how much she improved in this race. You could just see her strength as she was running. It was pretty marvelous to see. She improved by 46 seconds bringing her average pace to 6:21/mile.
JOXC STATE MEET
4K - 15:56.86 (9th out of 68)
NOVEMBER 9, 2019
Mike, Madeline and I headed up to Lyons, CO to cheer on Emma at the JOXC State Meet. Emma was a little nervous for this meet and the weather was a lot warmer than the meet the previous week. She seemed to be more at ease when she was with her teammates. Mike and I divided and conquered the course. I went out further along the course and he stayed closer to the start and finish with Madeline. I could tell on the first loop of the course that this would be a tough course to PR on. Between the hilly switchbacks and the heat, it would be a tough race. She still ended up doing really well and finished only 9 second behind her PR. We couldn't have been prouder of Emma.
JOXC REGIONAL MEET
4K - 15:31 (11th out of 121)
Girls 13-14 Team - First Place
NOVEMBER 16, 2019
We had a great time traveling to Albuquerque for Emma's Regional meet. Mike booked us a hotel at the Hyatt Tamaya Resort which was less than 2 miles from the course. We drove straight to the course and made it just in time for her to do the course run through with her team. Mike, Madeline and I ran just the first stretch and then we explored the course a bit and planned out where we would watch her the following day. Then we headed to the hotel and ate dinner at the restaurant there. The food was delicious, and it made Emma really happy. Afterwards we walked around outside on the resort grounds and made our way to the smores pit and enjoyed a complimentary smores. It was a nice relaxing way to spend the evening with Emma. The next day we got to sleep in because Emma's race wasn't until mid-day. We all had a fantastic breakfast and then headed on over to the course. Emma was super pumped for this race. An hour or so before the race Jean and Katrina Meehan came over to say hi and wish Emma good luck. It was really great to see such good friends. The weather was perfect, the course was rolling, and the elevation was low. Emma placed 11th with a time of 15:31 (6:14 mile/avg) and her age group girls team took 1st place!!! We are so proud of Emma for working so hard to get to this point in her running. We can’t wait to see her run at Nationals in Wisconsin.
JOXC NATIONAL MEET
4K - 14:55 (29 out of 316)
Girls 13-14 Team - First Place
DECEMBER 14, 2019
We froze our little behinds watching Emma run at JOXC Nationals today in Madison, WI but we had the best time supporting our speedy little girl. Emma not only had her immediate family there but also her aunt Kim, Uncle Al, and cousin Haley and a family friend. Out of 316 total runners in the 13-14 girls age group, Emma came in 29th with a new PR of 14:55 for the 4K (6:00 avg mile split) OH MY GOSH how did she cut 36 seconds from her last time a few weeks ago? She amazes us. With a temp of 25F and a real feel of 14F Emma ran an extremely great race. Her Kokopelli girls 13-14 age group team came in 1st with their top girl coming in 1st individually. These girls are such a strong team and we have loved every minute watching them run this season. We are so excited to see how Emma's running progresses into HS next year. She is definitely a talented runner.
PETER RACES AT NXR - CASA GRANDE, AZ
After such a fantastic cross-country season, Peter decided to continue his training with some of his other teammates so that he could compete at Nike Cross Regionals in Casa Grande, AZ. He was extremely motivated at first, but then we were hit with a few really bad snowstorms which halted some of his training outside. Then he begged me to sign him up for swim club so that he could start swimming in prep for his HS season in February. Both of those became distractions which made it hard to the train the way he did during his HS cross-country season. Still, he managed to make it to the practices that his coach offered and did as much running as he could with his teammates on the off days to get prepared to run the same course he ran in September where he PR'd and broke 17 minutes. This time it was just Peter and I who traveled to Arizona for the race. We stayed at the Marriott in Chandler where some of the other runners from his team were staying. Sean, Josh, Peter, Hayden, Rodrigo, Dan, and Lauren all ran. They ran the same course from Desert Twilight but ran in the morning instead of the night. The weather was actually not too hot, but the sun was pretty bright. Even though Peter didn't PR at this race, he still ran extremely well, finishing the 5K in 17:01.50. Afterwards we all celebrated by going to eat at In-N-Out before heading to the airport to fly back to Colorado.
Peter's Cross-Country Season
Peter had the MOST INCREDIBLE cross-country season of his high school life so far. After a roller-coaster season last year, this was such a reward for probably the hardest working athlete I personally know. After his swim season ended in May, Peter quickly jumped right back into running and started running with his high school team during the summer. He attended BYU cross-country camp in July and had a blast learning some new techniques and tips for his upcoming season. His goal for this season started small...it was just to make the varsity team. He did that, barely, on the time trial at the beginning of the season the second week in August. He came in at number 7, earning him a spot on the varsity team for the first meet of the season. In order to keep his spot he knew that he had to run well during each meet and stay in the top 7 for the boys team. Probably one of my favorite parts of this season was watching the utter determination on Peter's face when he raced. He had such excellent focus this season that showed not only in his times but also in his face. I can't even begin to describe how exciting this season was to watch.
AUGUST 23, 2019
CHEYENNE MTN STAMPEDE
NORRIS PENROSE EVENT CENTER
5K - 19:33
The first meet was the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede at Norris Penrose Event Center. The weather was kind of crazy that day, with a 30 minute delay for the varsity race due to some lightening and thunder. By the time the varsity race started, it was drizzling only a little bit with some cloud cover. Unfortunately, the sun did come out and the humidity set in. Peter ran well during that race considering the nasty weather, coming in at number 5 for the varsity team. Sean, the number 2 runner, was out this meet due to illness. Peter was on top of the world with his place even though he wasn't all that thrilled with his time. He was hoping to have run faster. He ran that race in 19:33 which was already close to his PR from the last season. That's not too bad for the first race of the season.
AUGUST 30, 2019
5K - 18:10.00
The second meet was the Widefield Invitational at Widefield HS. After some hard work during training, Peter was determined to finally break 19 min. That is just what he did at this race. He started out his race like he normally did, hanging with Hayden until about halfway through the race. Then after the halfway point he started to pick things up a bit. With some hills in the mix, he was able to keep pushing a little harder until the end was in sight. He was moving at speed. I was floored when I saw him round the track at the finish. His time...18:10. He was so shocked when he looked at his watch at the finish that he accidentally slowed down enough that the guy next to him beat him by a hair. It wasn't a huge deal but a lesson learned to not look at the clock but run hard right through the finish. Needless to say, Peter was extremely happy with himself at this race. He came in 6th for his team and 25th overall. The boys team also finished in first place for the meet.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2019
LIBERTY BELL INVITATIONAL
5K - 17:28.70
After last week's amazing race we were hoping that Peter would have another great race on one of the fastest courses of the season. We went out earlier that week to buy him some racing spikes but the store was all out of blanks, which he would need for this course as it was mostly pavement. Unfortunately we weren't able to find any before the race so he just wore his regular running shoes. That clearly didn't stop him from doing really well on this course. He started out similar to all his other races and kept picking up the pace the second half of the race. When I saw him come down the last 200 m stretch of the race I looked at the clock and I couldn't believe it. He was going to break 18 min. He didn't just break it by a little, he destroyed it. His time for the course was 17:28.70 which was now his all time personal best. I was so glad that everyone supported Peter at this race. The entire family came up to join him. Even Andrew was able to see him run before heading off to college.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 18:25.66
The varsity boys and girls took the week before this meet and rested from racing in the Rock Canyon Invitational. It was a great break for these kids who had been training so hard. Coming into this race Peter was a little nervous since this isn't his favorite course. It's hilly and the trail is usually exposed to the sun. This race always feels pretty hot. Still, he ran a great race and wore his racing spikes for the first time. His previous time on this course was 19:10 from last year. This time he destroyed that time and came in 4th for the varsity boys and ran it in 18:25.66. Wow...what an improvement from last year. The advice his coaches gave him for next meet on this course was to push it at the top of the hill the second time around and pick off people the last flat and downhill part of the course. Great advice!
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019
CASA GRANDE, AZ
5K - 16:46.17
The most coveted race of the season is the Desert Twilight XC Festival down in Casa Grande, AZ. Only the top 7 runners for boys and girls who had been consistent up until this point were asked to join this trip. Peter was so excited to be able to go and run in AZ at lower elevation. Mike and I left the girls with friends and flew down to support Peter in this race. Our team ran in the Sweepstakes race, which was the most competitive race of the night. They boys ran at 9:30pm which made for an extremely fun and exciting race to watch. Before the race Mike told Peter about the time he ran cross-country in high school and went out with a fast first mile of 5:10 (what he didn't tell him was that it was by pure accident...he crashed the rest of the race). I don't know what it was about what Mike said but Peter took that as a challenge, and he ran his first mile in 5:09. The course ran straight out on grass and some dirt paths and then wound back, zig zagging back to the finish like switchbacks on a mountain. This made it so much fun for the spectators who got to see them a dozen times throughout the race. Once they passed us on one straightway, we just ran across to the next straightway until eventually we were down to the last two and ran as fast as we could to see the finish. Peter looked strong the entire race and was extremely close to Josh who he normally is 20-40 sec behind. As I was watching the finish, I saw Josh and thought I had more time before Peter came in. Then in a split second I glanced across and saw Peter on the other side from where I was, only a few seconds behind Josh. I couldn't believe it. He ran such a great race and had an incredible time of 16:46.17 and was 4th on his team!!! At the beginning of the season Sean and Jackson told him that he would be able to break 17 min. Sure enough, they were right.
OCTOBER 9, 2019
5A METRO LEAGUE FINALS
FOUNTAIN FORT CARSON HS
5K - 18:58.03
After an amazing experience at Desert Twilight, Peter knew that coming back to elevation would be tough. The varsity kids had another week of no meet so that was nice coming off a really fast race in AZ. Unfortunately, two of the varsity boys were not doing so well. Caleb, their number one runner, was already out for the season with a stress fracture. Jackson and Taylor both had small injuries and Jackson didn't end up running in this meet. The weather was kind of nutty on race day. It was extremely warm and very humid for Colorado and the wind was pretty strong. The race was moved a day earlier due to the predicted snow storm. No one had a particularly great race during this meet. Peter said this was the hardest race of the season so far for him. He came in 3rd for his team and ran the course in 18:58.03. This definitely wasn't his best time of the season but a personal best for this course.
OCTOBER 17, 2019
5A REGION 5 CHAMPIONSHIPS
MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 17:45.00
Today was the final meet of the season and Peter was determined to run this faster than last week and the last time he ran this course a few weeks prior. With the advice in his mind from the last time he ran this course, he was determined to end his season well. He looked good the entire race. I decided to cheer him on at different points of the race. I made it a point to be at the top of the hill so I could remind him to push it at the top just like the coach had told him. I could tell Peter was in the zone because I'm not sure he even saw me or heard me cheering him on. After the last push up the last hill I booked it to the finish. He did what he set out to do and finished his cross-country season with another great time. He ran this course in 17:45.00, beating his time a few weeks ago by almost 40 sec, placing 3rd on his team. He was extremely happy with his time and his performance but a little bummed that some of his fellow teammates didn't have great races, landing their team in 7th place overall and not making the cut to go to State this year. With all their teammates healthy and uninjured they were between 3rd and 4th for the region. Only the top 4 teams are eligible to run at the State race. At least there is always next year for Peter to make it to State.
Girls MS Cross Country Season
Emma and Abby both had a great cross-country season and worked really hard to finish out this season stronger than they started. Of the 5 meets that were scheduled, only one was canceled due to bad weather. Abby choose to do cross country this year not because she loves to run but because she wanted to do something active with her friends. She worked hard in her practices and never gave up even when it was hard for her. Every race she ran she did it knowing that it would be hard, but she still finished strong. On the other hand, Emma was excited to run cross country this season because running is her best sport. She really started to turn up the heat in her running during track season in the spring. After a good experience at BYU cross country camp this summer she was ready to take on the challenge of pushing herself a little harder than last year.
ELIZABETH HS - MEET #1
1.5 miles, trail with hills
Abby - 19:30
Emma - 10:30 (2nd place)
Emma had a fantastic race at Elizabeth HS. It was an unusually hot day and the meet was about an hour away. I got there about 15 min before her race started and tried to look for the best spot to take photos. After walking off the beaten path Madeline and I found a spot right off the trail. As we watched the start of the race Emma had already pushed herself to the front of the pack and was sitting nicely in 3rdplace behind Bethany and Jade. As we waited for the girls to make their loop and come back, I was shocked when I saw Emma and Jade running down the trail not too far behind Bethany. Emma looked strong and I knew that she could grab 2ndplace if she pushed it at the end of the race. We cheered her on and I could see her starting to pass Jade and pick up the pace. I handed Madeline to a nice man over the chain link fence while I climbed up and over to hurry and make my way to the finish. Sure enough, Emma had pushed it hard enough to not only beat Jade by a sec or two but by 10-15 sec. Emma came in 2ndplace for 7thand 8thgrade girls.
Abby had a pretty good race considering the extremely unpleasant conditions. With her recent growth spurt and maturity, it has become harder for Abby to run fast like she was able to do in ES. However, there is nothing I like to see more than a kid who pushes themselves to their limit just to prove that they can do hard things. This was exactly what Abby did at this meet. She wasn’t in the front or even the middle of the pack when we saw her on the trail but was closer to the back of the pack of 6thgraders. As Madeline and I waited at the finish area for Abby, I was getting a little nervous when I didn’t see her come in. Eventually she made her way into the stadium and pushed hard that last 100m. She may not have had a top finishing time but in my book, she was a top finisher in how she persevered through a tough race. She was a bit emotional at the end because it was so hard for her. I couldn’t have been prouder of her for not stopping and just finishing the race.
CHINOOK MS – MEET #2
Just shy of 1.5 miles, flat and downhill paved course
Abby - 14:10
Emma - 8:40 (2nd place)
This was probably Emma’s most exciting race of the season. Since this was the first time the teams were running up near the new Chinook MS, no one really knew the course. Luckily, one of the coaches showed me a map of the course so I knew where to stand and cheer on the kids. I first saw Emma about halfway through the race. She was sitting in 4thplace behind Bethany, Jade, and some other blond-haired girl. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but she looked strong. As I made my way to the finish on the track, I was shocked to see Emma come into the track in 4thplace and slowly pick off the girls in front of her. By the first curve she made her way into 3rdplace and by the last 100m she battled for 2ndplace and won. Unfortunately, Jade also thought she had won and there was some debate for a bit about it. In the end, Emma’s name was moved to the 2ndplace finish. It was quite the finish. It was the first time I realized how awesome of a kick Emma has at the end of her races. She is very similar to her brother Peter.
Abby had a much better race running on the pavement and slightly downhill than she did on the hilly trail during the first meet. She was in much better spirits when she started the race. I saw her at the beginning of the run and at the end. She happily ran along near the last half of the pack and when she came into the track at the end, I could see how much she was struggling to keep running. I could see her stop for a few seconds on the track and then she started back up again. By the time she rounded the last corner something overtook her, and she turned up the heat and sprinted to the finish. It was pretty amazing to watch.
BLACK FOREST – MEET #3
1.5 miles, trail and hilly
Emma – 9:58 (3rd place)
Only the 7th and 8th graders ran in this race so Abby was off the hook for today’s race. Today was another unfamiliar course as this was the first time the kids were running at this venue. The race wasn’t well marked and not even the coaches really understood the course. That being said, Emma had a decent race today. She ran out and made her way right behind Jade. She kept a pretty close distance to Jade and I thought for sure that she would pick it up on the downhill so she could overtake her. However, she wasn’t quite sure how much further she had to run and so it was hard to know when to start picking up the pace. The moment she realized the finish was up ahead it was too late. There was no way she could catch up. She still ended up with a great time and a 3rdplace finish 10 sec behind Jade.
UTE VALLEY PARK – MEET #4
1.5 miles, trail and hilly
Abby – 16:05
Emma – 9:40 (3rd place)
It was hotter than expected at this meet and both girls were excited to run in the last meet of the season. Emma had been complaining of shin splints so I was a little unsure of how fast she could run today. All she wanted to do was beat Jade, but I told her to just run her best and that would be good enough. She started out so well. Halfway through the race I cheered her on the uphill portion. She looked strong and was right behind Jade. It was anyone’s game. After getting up and over the hill, she started to pick up the pace and actually passed Jade. Then, she tripped but luckily caught herself instead of falling on the ground. It threw her off her game a bit and she struggled to maintain a lead over Jade. As she came into the track for the finish, I could see that she was done. There was no strong kick at the end like she normally has. It was then I just hoped that she would be happy with her efforts and not disappointed in herself. When I saw her after the finish, she had a smile on her face. It was such a relief to me. She said she ran her best and that she was happy with her 3rdplace finish. I couldn’t have been prouder of her for being a good sport about not beating Jade. Afterall, not every race can be your best race. All that matters is that you do your very best under the circumstances.
It was fun watching Abby get ready for her race with her friends. They warmed up and stretched together. Even Madeline sat and stretched with them. As the 6thgraders were getting ready to line up I could tell she was not that excited to run. Bless her heart for finishing out this season. I was pleasantly surprised after the race started to see that Abby was not at the back of the pack coming up the hill like she normally is. She looked really strong. It made me excited for her. As I made my way towards the finish on the track, I was excited to see her finish. As she made her way into the track, she finished that race as strong as she had started. Her time compared to the first meet was 3 minutes quicker. With both courses similar in terrain, I was so proud of her for improving from the beginning to the end of the season. After the race she told me that she would not be running next year. I am totally ok with that.
Peter's Cross Country Season
Peter had a rough start to the season as he was in physical therapy for his knee problem. It was such a blessing that we found an excellent PT who was able to diagnose what was going on with Peter's knee injury. Turns out that it was actually more of an ankle problem and his running form that was causing all the pain in his knees. With some work he was able to work through and strengthen those areas that would help him be free of his knee pain. He started out the season with his slowest time and ended the season with his PR of all time for the 5K. By the 3rd meet Peter was finally able to break 20 minutes. Our entire family including Myisha, who was still visiting, was able to be there to witness his PR. It was such a fantastic moment for Peter. Throughout the rest of the season he continued to push hard in practice and at the meets and finished his last 3 meets under the 20-minute threshold. In the Metro League Finals Peter came in 9th for JV boys and the JV Regionals he crossed the finish line with his PR of 19:14. He was a little disappointed that he didn't break 19 minutes but we were all so proud of how much he accomplished, especially starting out the season being injured. He will only get faster and I can't wait to see how fast he gets in the years to come.
MEET 1 - Norrise Penrose Stadium - 22:03
MEET 2 - Widefield HS - 20:17
MEET 3 - Heritage HS - 19:52
MEET 4 - Air Academy HS - 21:25
MEET 5 - Monument Valley Park - 20:11
MEET 6 - Littleton Invitational - 19:49
MEET 7 - Metro League at Ft. Fort Carson - 19:40
MEET 8 - JV Regional Meet at Monument Valley Park - 19:14
Meet 3 at Heritage HS
Meet 4 at Air Academy HS
Meet 5 at Monument Valley Park
Meet 6 at the Littleton Invitational
Meet 7 Metro League Finals at Fountain Fort Carson
Meet 8 JV Regionals at Monument Valley Park
Abby's Cross Country Season
Abby had another great cross country season running with the Landsharks running club. Even though she started swimming with the Rapids swim club she still wanted to keep running so that she could be with her friends. I couldn't convince her to do the shorter 1 mile race because she was set on running the longest race with Anna and McKenzie. I was so proud of her for not stopping during her hilly race. This year she ran in the longer race during all of the meets. Even though her best time was during the second meet, her first meet's time was already an entire minute faster than her time from last year. Wow...what an improvement.
Meet 1 at MVE - 1.5 mile run in 12:49
Meet 2 at MVE - 1.5 mile run in 12:32
Meet 3 at MVE - 1.5 mile run in 13:03
Photo Above: Annie, Abby, Anna, McKenzie
Emma's Cross Country Season
Emma had a fantastic cross season this year. She improved drastically from last year and was one of the fastest girls on her middle school team right behind Bethany (7th grade) and Lauren (8th grade). All of the courses were 1.5 miles. I wasn't able to be there for her first meet at Elizabeth HS since I was still in Switzerland but Grandma Anne and Grandpa Franz were there. This is the only meet I don't actually have her finish time. Luckily, I was able to be there for all the other meets and I was so impressed every time with how strong she looked. She ended up being ahead of girls that had passed her last year like her friend Mikayla and her Kokopelli teammate Eliza. Madeline loved being able to go and watch Emma run. She would say, "Go Emma Go." It was the cutest thing ever. Emma started her second meet with a time of 11:35 and finished her season with a time of 10:21. Her fastest time was during the 4th meet with a time of 10:12. I can't wait to see how fast she continues to get as she matures and puts in more time into her training.
Meet 1 at Elizabeth HS - Time unknown
Meet 2 at D20 Stadium - 11:35 (4th place for 7th grade girls)
Meet 3 at Palmer Lake - 10:44 (7th place for 7th grade girls)
Meet 4 at Air Academy HS - 10:12 (4th place for 7th grade girls)
Meet 5 at Ute Valley Park - 10:21 (3rd place for 7th grade girls)
Photo Above: Emma, Bethany, Lauren, Eliza
Photo Above: Avery, Ava, Niah, Emma, Mikalya
Photo Above: Mikalya, Niah, Bethany, Emma, Eliza
Photo Above: Emma, Mikayla, Avery, Niah