Emma wanted to do an anime inspired theme for her birthday this year. She choose to base her theme from the movie, “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” We found an awesome cake on Pinterest and went to work gathering all of the supplies to try and replicate it the best we could. It definitely was a team effort to put together this awesome cake and fun Totoro cupcakes. We had fun cutting out the fondant pieces together. We even found the best homemade chocolate cake recipe. Emma was so happy with her awesome cake and fun gifts. Peter bought her an advanced paint by number canvas which she loved, Abby bought her a cute anime cottage craft kit, Madeline gave her a puzzle from the anime called, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” my parents gave her the cutest Totoro mini backpack, and Mike and I gave her some new anime movies and a brand-new laptop computer. Grandpa Al’s gift was some new clothes that she could pick out online. It was kind of the perfect little birthday party for a 15-year-old who loves anime and all things Japanese.
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)
Since all the celebrations at school had been cancelled due to the COVID crisis, we decided to do a little 8th grade graduation celebration for Emma while grandpa Al was visiting. I ordered a fun yard sign and some yummy customized sugar cookies and cake pops. This lady who makes these delicious treats is such a treasure. She made the most amazing cookies for Emma. The 2020 cookie even had a face mask and a roll of toilet paper on it to commemorate the COVID-19 crazy. One of my favorite cookies was the blonde girl with the cap and gown. She really went above and beyond to make it special for Emma. Emma was an excellent student at Challenger Middle School. She got mostly A's and a few B's throughout the three years she was there. She was able to get straight A's her entire 8th grade year. We couldn't have been prouder of the amazing things she accomplished!
After the spring sports season was pretty much shut down, Emma was in a funk about what to do about her running. She had been gearing up with the Kokopelli run club and was going on her way to running a fast track season. It didn’t take too long to come up with a new plan for her to run with her brother and keep up the hard work. Then coach Lisa came out with a plan for all the kids to run two 1K time trials three weeks apart. This would give them the motivation they needed to keep working hard. Emma kept telling me that she didn’t feel very fast but when she knocked out a 3:31 on her first 1K at the CC track I had to disagree with her. One thing is for sure, Emma is hella fast. She was running at a 5:39 pace and that was without her spikes on. Her second 1K was at the Manitou Springs track. This track was 1000ft higher in elevation and there was quite a wind so getting a better time would be tough. Her stomach hurt that morning, but I warmed up with her and tried to give her positive encouragement. This time she kept her long sleeve on since her arms tightened up from the cold during the last time trial. As she ran, she looked strong. She finished in 3:32, only one second off from her last time trial. For the crazy weather conditions, she did remarkably well, pulling in a 5:41 average pace. I just couldn’t be prouder of her for working so hard during such an uncertain time. With a months’ worth of training under her belt running only with Peter, she was excited to finally be able to start running with some other Kokopelli runners. As part of the quarantine was lifted, she would be placed in a smaller group of 7-8 runners and one coach so that she could continue to train with other people all while still following the social distancing guidelines.
Instead of a big party with friends this year Emma decided it would be more fun to invite one friend to do something big. I took Emma and her friend Natalie up to Denver to go indoor skydiving at iFly. Both the girls were anxious but in a good way. After their instruction class they got suited up and were ready to fly. They each got 2 different flights, both one-minute long each, and the last one included a high flight with the instructor. They were all smiles the entire time. I was surprised at how quickly they picked up the correct form. Both of them had some moments where they were flying by themselves without the instructor holding onto them.
Afterwards, we headed over to the Park Meadows Mall for some shopping before eating dinner. The girls went to a variety of stores but spent a good deal of time on the outdoor mall area taking photos in the various chairs and enjoying the sunset. We all ate dinner at the White Chocolate Grill, and it was delicious. We all shared the egg rolls and then the girls had hamburgers, I had their famous veggie burger, and we all shared the white chocolate brownie and the French white chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Emma was so happy with her fun filled day up in Denver with her good friend Natalie.
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.
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.
Every year at the beginning of the school year the youth program at our church has a combined activity where they go ice blocking down the grassy hill at Cottonwood Creek Park. I decided to surprise Peter and Emma this year and snap a few photos. I loved watching their expressions as they flew down the hill on a tiny block of ice. They were both so excited to have their own block of ice this year. According to Peter and Emma, Andrew hogged the block of ice last year. It was easy enough to get them their own this year. The thing I loved most about watching Peter and Emma was their interactions with their friends. I love that they are two social butterflies. I hope this year brings them good friendships and good memories with their friends.
The kids had a pretty fun summer filled with various camps and a big family reunion on the Kelsch side of the family. After all the adventures, the kids were actually ready to head back to school just to see their friends again and to be social. This year will be challenging for each one of the kids but for different reasons. One thing is for sure, I know they will all rise to the occasion and be successful this school year!
Abby was excited to finally join the ranks of the older kids by joining Emma at Challenger Middle School. She was the most excited to be starting this adventure with her A-team friends: Addy, Avery, August, Anna, and Olivia and to be on a team with some pretty great teachers. On the first day of school she was not interested in Mike and I walking her to the bus stop. She quickly sped down the sidewalk and waved without looking back. Abby started school the day before the other kids.
6th grade, Team 614, Cross-Country Team, Rapids Swim Team, Voice Lessons, Piano, Make-up wearer, Social Butterfly, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Pre-Algebra A, PE, Gateway I, Drama, World Language, and Music.
Excited about going on High Trails.
Most concerned about doing math and having Ms. Murray.
Favorite class is PE.
Emma was excited to finally be at the top of her school as an 8th grader, get straight A’s, and to gear up for cross-country season.
8th grade, Team 814, Cross-Country Team, Kokopelli JOXC, Rapids Swim Team, Violin, Piano, Saxophone, HS Orchestra, Silver Tones Choir Group, Advanced Art, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Algebra 1, and PE.
Excited about her science class and participating in the HS Orchestra.
Most concerned about getting straight A’s.
Favorite class is social studies and language arts because the teachers are great.
Peter was excited to see his friends and be on the cross-country team again but he wasn’t that thrilled for his hardest year at Pine Creek HS. As a Junior, Peter will be taking tough classes and preparing himself for the ACT and SAT.
11th grade, Cross-Country Team, State Running Team, Rapids Swim Team, Varsity Swim Team, Advanced Jazz Ensemble, Seminary, H Pre-Calculs, US History, AP Physics, American Lit & Comp, Weights & Fitness, H German 4, and Programming 2.
Excited about Cross-Country and Swim Seasons
Most concerned about doing well on the ACT and SAT and his AP Physics class
Favorite class is H German 4
I had a fun time at girls camp this year. I know the leaders put a lot of effort into making it a great experience. There were lots of girls because it was for the whole stake. On one day we participated in different stations. Some of these stations included shooting BB guns, bow and arrows, mason jar crafts, and hair braiding/wraps. On another day we had a water fun day. The little lake close by our camp was overflooded, so they made a slip n slide and we had fun with that. One night we all gathered in the woods and sang hymns. During another night we all went to a specific camp site and did something nice for them. On one of the last days, they used this chalky stuff, and we had a color fight. My sandals are still dyed green. One of the things I did not like about girls camp were the bathrooms. I was so afraid of the little whiteish black bugs that were everywhere. I preferred the last girls camp, where we only had one bathroom. I still had a lot of fun and was happy I got to bond with some of the girls in my ward.
After Abby’s graduation, Emma, Abby and I headed up to Denver for a very special girls’ weekend to see Wicked and to relax and eat good food at the Four Season Hotel in Denver. We ate dinner at the hotel and there was a special Wicked Theatre Menu with food named after the musical. The girls thought that was pretty neat. We all enjoyed sharing the chocolate ganache cake. After dinner we headed straight to see Wicked, which was just a short 2 block walk from our hotel. The girls had a blast seeing this amazing musical and spending time together. Afterwards we walked back to our hotel, got on our pjs, and snuggled in bed together while watching movies. It was great to sleep in and order room service for breakfast in the morning. We all ate the most amazing french toast and then headed to the heated outdoor pool for some late morning fun. The girls played in the pool and we all sat in the hot tub. We ordered sliders for lunch and relaxed by the pool for a few hours. After relaxing, we went back to the room and showered. Before heading home we decided to go to the chalk festival a few blocks away. We saw one row before it started to rain. Luckily, we grabbed one of the hotel umbrellas. We didn’t stay out for too long but saw some really great chalk drawings in our short walk from the hotel. It was fun to finally spend some one on one time with both girls. We all needed this girls weekend!
Emma's first meet was up at Lewis Palmer MS where she ran the 1600, 800, and medley relay. I brought Madeline with me and we had a great time cheering on Emma and her teammates. Emma did well in her individual events but the highlight of this meet was when she passed a girl from another team on the last 50m of the medley relay. She was so excited that she outran her competition on the last stretch of the race. After the first meet that took over 2 hours we decided it was best if Emma dropped the medley relay and just focused on the 1600m and 800m races. She did well in both races, taking off time during each of the meets. During the meet at Elizabeth HS Emma got a PR of 6:02 in the mile. She cut 20 seconds off her time from the second meet. She was so excited for the last meet which was the championship track meet. Only the top runners and field athletes were asked to participate in this meet. Her main goal was to break 6 minutes in the mile. She totally did it! She ran the mile in 5:59. It was a great way to end her track season!
MEET 1 - LEWIS PALMER
APRIL 9, 2019
1600 - 6:24
800 - 2:43
MEET 2 - CHALLENGER MS
APRIL 16, 2019
1600 - 6:22
800 - 2:41
MEET 3 - ELIZABETH HS
APRIL 23, 2019
1600 - 6:02
800 - 2:40
MEET 4 - D20 STADIUM (CHAMPIONSHIP RACE)
MAY 3, 2019
1600 - 5:59
800 - 2:38
Emma, Peter, and Andrew swam in their second meet of the club season at the CMA Valentines meet at Cheyenne Mountain High School. Since Emma turned 13 last month she was bumped up to swim with the older kids this time. One of the things about the older kids events are the elimination of many of the smaller 50 yd events. There weren't too many options in the 100yd events for today and so Emma only swam in the 100 freestyle race. She was way more confident during this meet than she was during the last meet. She did well, swimming the first 50 yards extremely well. Her second 50 yards was a bit slower because she swallowed some water on the second lap. Still, she was able to knock out a time of 1:35.73. Way to go Emma!
Peter swam the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle. He went out too fast for the first lap and ended up losing a bit of steam on the second lap. That's usually how it goes with the butterfly. It's just a tough event. His time was 1:15.31. He did really well, however, on his 100 freestyle. He got a new PR with a time of 1:05.21. It was so fun to see Peter PR in the freestyle and to also try the butterfly event. Most kids don't volunteer to swim in that event.
Andrew swam the 100 freestyle and the 200 breaststroke. He wasn't feeling well at all today and his back was bothering him. His times were still decent though. He swam the 100 freestyle in 58.81 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:54.83. I'm so proud of Andrew for pushing through it.
This year Emma decided that she wanted me to make her a fancy cake like I did for Madeline's birthday. She looked at a couple of ideas and came up with a Paris themed cake. I went to work trying to figure out what I would need and spent 2 days prepping and decorating the cake. It definitely was a team effort to make this cake. I did all the prep work and when it was time to finally decorate the cake, Mike helped with the actual drawing on the fondant pieces. We all think it turned out so cute. It was not just a cute cake but it was also extremely delicious. Everyone just loves the marshmallow fondant. The kids finished the cake by the next day. Wow!
For gifts Emma wanted some more clothes as well as a yoga mat and weights. I found some adorable new outfits for her Emma at Athleta this year. She got a new pair of black warm up pants, two fun shirts, and a cozy sweatshirt. I also found an adorable necklace with a little runner girl. She LOVED that. From her grandparents she got a reversable yoga mat and weights. She was beyond thrilled with all of her fun gifts. Even though it was only a family birthday this year Emma got some fun things from some of her best friends. Natalie gave her a pink fuzzy pillow and Ava gave her a cute little dog stuffed animal. Emma is so lucky to have such nice friends.
The kids have all been swimming with the Rapids Swim Club since the early fall and this was the first meet that I was able to sign them up to participate in. The girls were a little nervous as this was their first real big swim meet. The boys were anxious to see what they could swim at this point in their pre-season to their HS swim team season. I was so incredibly impressed with how well everyone did today and how they cheered for and encouraged each other in their individual events.
Andrew's times were already so much better than the last two seasons of HS swim. He swam in the 50 freestyle, 100 breast, and the 100 freestyle events. He PR'd in 100 breaststroke and swam it in 1:16.17. His previous best time was his sophomore year at 1:18.42 since he didn't swim it his junior year. His 50 free time was outstanding for the pre-season at 26.00. His fastest time was during the Eagle Invite his sophomore year at 25.29. Last year he swam a 25.60 during State and that was after a season of an injured hand. Andrew's 100 free time today was 58.00 which was his best solo 100 freestyle not in a relay. His previous 100 free style record was 1:00.73 last season. His overall best 100 freestyle distance was 56.12 in the 400 freestyle relay his sophomore year. After such a successful meet for Andrew he and I both realized his potential. He hasn't been making it to all the club practices and still swam a great meet which only means that with a lot of hard work from here until the HS season starts and through the season, he could potentially make State with an individual event this year. It will be fun to see how far he can come this year by working hard and swimming the events he is strongest in.
Peter PR'd in every event he swam today. He swam in the 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle, and the 100 freestyle events. Peter's 500 freestyle time was 6:28.00 which was 12 seconds faster than last year's best time of 6:42.98. Peter's 200 freestyle time today was 2:27.00 which was one second faster than last year's best time and his 100 freestyle was 1:05.00 which knocked his previous best tie of 1:11.89 out of the park. Unlike Andrew, Peter has been more diligent about going to practice and his hard work is already starting to show. He is so competitive with Andrew and I know that with some more hard work Peter will get the times that he is working towards this year. So proud of this kid.
Emma swam in two events today. She swam in the 50 breaststroke and 50 freestyle events. As she was getting ready for her 50 breaststroke she accidentally missed her heat. She got confused because some other kid was on her block. There were a few tears since this was her favorite event. Coach Brody stepped in and got her in the next heat which was awesome. That is the nice thing about the 12&under competition...they are a little bit more lenient. Needless to say, she swam well being a little frazzled. Still, according to Emma, this was not her best time and didn't glide as much as she should have but she was happy to be able to swim in the event. She swam the 50 breaststroke in 43.00. Emma's next event was the 50 freestyle and she swan that in 41.47. Again, not her best time from practice but still a great starting time for her. I was so proud of her for pushing herself even when she was nervous and frazzled. This was a great experience for her.
Abby was a little unsure about swimming in such a big meet but she put on her brave face and went with the flow today. She swam in both the 50 butterfly and 100 freestyle events. She swam her 50 butterfly which was the very first event in 1:03.99 and was 4th in her heat. She was so happy with that. Then she waited until the end of the meet to swim in the 100 freestyle. She was so nervous about doing flip turns and being disqualified. Ramon and I tried to encourage her to just try them but in the end she just touched the wall. Still, with her nerves I was just so proud of her for getting up on that swim block and racing. She did the 100 freestyle in 2:06.00. I couldn't have been more pleased with her efforts.
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
The girls had their 2nd swim meet with the Falfins today. It was another in house meet so they swam against the other kids in the Falfins summer swim team. Both girls improved significantly since the first meet. Emma used the diving block this time and showed us how strong she is in the breaststroke. She swam in the 50 breaststroke, 100 breaststroke, and the 50 freestyle. Abby did well this time around too. She swam in the 100 freestyle, 100IM, and the 50 backstroke. By far Abby's favorite event is the 100 IM. She loves to swim all the strokes. Abby improved this time by swimming all her events without stopping. I couldn't be prouder of these two girls in giving it all they had during their events. At the end of the meet each one of them got pictures with their coaches. Being a part of this summer swim team was really good for both Emma and Abby and showed them that they could accomplish great things with hard work.
Both Emma and Abby did a great job on their very first swim meet with their Falfins swim team. This first meet was just an in-house meet so there was no pressure which was nice for a first meet. Since both Emma and Abby are new to swim team, they didn’t dive off the blocks for every race. Emma proved to be a very good breaststroker. I was pleasantly surprised at how well her form was in the water. Abby did awesome on her backstroke, but she showed determination on her 50 freestyle. Near the end of her race, I could tell she was getting tired and she was struggling, but she didn’t stop, and she finished the race.
This was my first girls camp, and I had a lot of fun with these girls. It was especially fun because we were able to relax and hang out with each other. We braided each other's hair, made bracelets, and played a ton of mafia. During the day, we had lots of fun activities, and at night we played fun games, and we were able to enjoy the presence of the Spirit. Every night, lots of girls would gather in our tent to play mafia, it was probably one of the most fun experiences I've ever had. The YCLs would come into our one tent to give us a spiritual message, and then we would play mafia. On one night in particular, as a YW tradition, the YCLs took us out on a "snipe hunt." They made us put toothpaste on our face, and we ventured out into the woods to find a fun jump (scare designed by some of the older girls). I laughed so hard at everyone's surprise. It was hilarious. On two of the other nights, we had something super spiritual planned. One of the nights we sung a bunch of church songs, making it really easy to feel the spirit. On the other night was a girl's camp tradition. Before you were to leave, your parents would write you a letter. On that night, we opened up our own letters and felt their love.
One of my favorite activities that we did during girls camp was hiking. It was funny because the leaders got lost and ended up taking us on a longer hike than they planned. Before we went, they had us make our own trail mix with the snacks that they provided. It was so much fun, but we didn't even make it to the end of the hike because most of the girls were dying. Halfway down the trail, we stopped for a spiritual message. Besides hiking, we rented some boats for the river. The boats were made of metal, so we had to put our towels under our butts, so we didn't burn ourselves. It was a lot of fun. The leaders brought watermelon, and we even found a dead fish just floating along in the river. On our last day, we went to these natural water slides. They were covered in moss and actually quite gross, but they were still fun. I never went into the pool at the bottom of the slides, but I did repeatedly go down them. At one point, our leaders had ruined them by knocking down some rocks that continued the flow of the water, so they had to fix it by putting all of the rocks back. Overall, my first girls camp exceeded my expectations, and I probably had too much fun.
For her friend birthday this year we agreed to let Emma have a sleepover with a few of her closest friends. She invited Natalie Asay, Ava Seaquist, Mikayla Jester and Maddie Gebski. We recycled our movie theme from a previous birthday and went to town decorating. We had fun personalizing some fun gold water bottles and had a slew of movie treats for the girls to eat downstairs while they watched movies. We ate cupcakes and opened presents before the girls headed down to the basement for some much needed girl time. They all got in their pajamas and enjoyed watching a few movies while eating junk food. They stayed up until 1:30am and then were up by @ 8:30am. I had made cinnamon rolls the night before at Emma’s request so that they could have them for breakfast. The girls ate those and then headed outside to jump on the trampoline. They all had so much fun together and there really wasn’t any drama the entire time. Emma had so much fun with her friends and loved the experience of having a sleepover for her party this year.