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 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.
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.
Ever since the last high school swim season, Peter has had some workouts that put his heart rate over 200 and sometimes as close as 210. Although it never seemed to effect his performance, it was a little concerning going into this year's cross-country season. His pediatrician ordered a exercise stress test and echo cardio exam. Everything looked good on his EKG and his ultrasound. The next piece was the exercise stress test which he passed with flying colors. It was pretty spectacular watching him run his heart out on that treadmill as the speed and incline increased. Turns out his VO2 max is 65!!! That is at the superior level for someone his age. The only thing the doctor noticed was his oxygen output was a little restricted when blowing out which meant that he could benefit from an inhaler before racing or swimming really hard. We are so grateful that there was nothing wrong with his heart and comforted to know that his HR going above 200 is ok.
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
There are several reasons to live in Colorado. Most all of them involve being outside in this great state enjoying the activities that the mountains offer. This year, we had epic amounts of snowfall, which translates directly into great white water rafting in the Spring and Summer. We departed on a Friday afternoon to Canon City and camped in a Red Rock enclave that was secluded and beautiful. The boys enjoyed climbing up on the red rock bluffs that encircled our camp. We had a fire, food, fireside and all the usual good stuff that makes a camping trip excellent.
In the morning, we embarked for our white-water adventure. As we waited for our bus to be ready to take us to the boats, we played Volleyball in the sand. All I could think about was that I hoped the boys would be better at rafting than they were at playing Volleyball. The older boys went down the crown jewel of Southern Colorado: The Royal Gorge. The Royal Gorge is an impressive site any way you see it. However, being on the water is a whole different experience: terrifying, exhilarating, and memorable. We separated into two rafts of 6 boys each and headed down the Arkansas River. The white water was plentiful and fun. It bounced us around, soaked us to the bone, and made for some great memories. The River goes up to Class V rapids when it goes through the Gorge, so it was some serious white water with memorable names like Boat Eater, Wall Smasher, and Sunshine Falls. The boys loved it and the leaders loved it too. Certainly, a memorable and fun experience.
written by Mike
On a normal summer day, Quandary is a miserable slog up boulders (like most 14ers) and a line of neophytes trying to cut their teeth on a tall mountain. However, this was no ordinary summer day. Instead, we went early in the season while there was still plenty of snow on the mountain. We arrived at the parking lot early in the morning, only to find a moose hanging out right by the road. A good omen for the rest of the hike. The start of the hike wound up through beautiful forests and it was cool with the promise of sun. By the time we reached tree line, it was clear we would be in snow to the summit. Perfect. The snow was firm, so there was no post holing and we climbed quickly into the clear morning ski. Denverites were wondering who the speedy little kid was that was passing them, and all I could do was puff out of breath for someone to tell him to slow down. In the end, Peter would make it to the summit a good 30 minutes before me. The climb was excellent, and we had our spikes on as we made a straight line to the top. We stayed at the summit for about 20 minutes, had lunch and then headed down. The best part was that there was snow covering all the big nasty rocks, so we could glissade all the way back down. On our way, we saw mountain goats playing in the snow. It was quite the site to see. Once back to treelike, we ran back to the car (Peter because he can, me because I had to). It was a great climb with lots of wildlife, clear skies and good memories. So glad to have a cool kid like Peter who likes to be out in the mountains. It makes all the hard work worth it.
Today was a momentous day as Peter finally got to celebrate his huge accomplishment of earning the rank of Eagle during his Eagle Court of Honor. I ordered specialty patriotic inspired sugar cookies and had some really special people put together a cake for him. Emma Patterson and Danielle Rasmussen worked together to make the most amazing Eagle scout cake. It not only look amazing but it tasted so good. Peter was lucky to be supported by many of the people who worked with him throughout his scouting life. Dave Barkdull, Mark Hubbell, Clark Milner, Tex Johnson and Bill Sampson all showed up to support him. We were so happy that Grandma Anne and Grandpa Franz could be there to celebrate as well. Many of Peter’s friends showed up from church, in addition to Jackson who is one of Peter’s best friends from school.
Peter had an amazing swim season this year, swimming in 9 different events. Of those events, he swam the most in the 200 and 500 freestyle. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Peter is a long-distance swimmer. Peter cut time almost every meet in the 200 and 500 freestyle, taking off a total of 30 seconds from the beginning to the end of the season in the 500 freestyle. He worked so hard to try and get a state time in the 500 free but missed it by only 10 seconds at the final meet. Peter participated in many of the relay events and even did a few events he does not normally swim. Peter’s work ethic is like nothing I have ever seen. This year Peter shifted to the faster side of the pool and was seen swimming in practice with some of the faster guys. There was even a little healthy competition between him and Andrew during practice. He worked extremely hard in and out of the pool to make sure he was ready to swim hard during the meets.
28.36 7th out of 10 at Doherty
1:02.87 7th out of 10 at Doherty
1:04.74 3rd out of 13 vs FFC
1:15.07 6th out of 6 vs Air Academy
2:23.48 5th out of 5 vs Palmer
2:17.98 3rd out of 7 at Widefield
2:16.22 29th out of 48 at Indian Invite (CMHS)
2:14.43 56th out of 78 at Mustang Invite
2:13.90 5th out of 6 at Liberty
2:14.94 4th out of 9 at Coronado
2:15.19 1st out of 7 vs FFC
6:14.56 3rd out of 4 vs Palmer
6:00.92 1st out of 4 at Widefield
5:55.44 18th out of 18 at Indian Invite (CMHS)
5:58.42 6th out of 8 vs Rampart
5:49.07 34th out of 46 at Mustang Invite
6.00.63 3rd out of 6 at Liberty
5:52.55 4th out of 7 at Coronado
5:43.82 12th out of 24 at CSML Prelims
5:48.68 12th out of 16 at CSML Finals
200 Individual Medley
2:44.16 7th out of 7 vs Rampart
200 Freestyle relay
28.01 split time vs Rampart
29.03 split time at Doherty
200 Medley Relay
Butterfly split time NR vs Palmer (team time 2:45.01)
Backstroke split time NR at Widefield (team time 2:12.53)
Butterfly split time 32.69 vs Air Academy
Breastroke split time NR vs FFC (team time 2:02.75)
400 Freestyle Relay
Split time 31.49 at Palmer
Split time 35.51 at Palmer
Split time NR at Widefield (team time 4:28.72)
Split time 29.01 vs Air Academy
Split times NR at Mustang Invite (team time 4:22.05)
Split time 30.04 at Liberty
Split time 33.95 at Liberty
Split time 31.68 at Coronado
Split time 34.74 at Coronado
Split time 31.04 vs FFC
Split time 34.33 vs FFC
Every year during the latter half of the swim season the boys get to play water polo with a greased-up watermelon. They call it the watermelon invite. They always have a great time and they also get a good workout. Mike and I had a blast watching our boys battling it out on opposite teams. Most of the boys walked away unscathed, except for a few scratches and a black eye for Peter. Peter got hit in the eye when someone decided to throw the watermelon in his direction. Ouch! Still, he was pretty much all smiles even though he got hit in the face.
After a week of three snow days and two canceled meets, the boys were finally ready to compete in their first swim meet against Palmer HS. They knew there wasn't much competition agains Palmer but they were still pumped to swim their hardest. Peter swam in the 200 medley relay (butterfly), 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, and the 400 freestyle relay. He swam strong in all his events but his 500 freestyle was his best event of the day, landing him a new PR of 6:14.56. This is the event Peter will focus on this season to try and get as close as he can to the state qualifying time.
200 medley relay - no individual time. Team time of 2:45.01
200 freestyle - 2:23.48
500 freestyle - 6:14.56
400 freestyle relay - 31.49, 35.51
Andrew also had a pretty good meet. He swam in the 200 medley relay (breaststroke), 50 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, and the 100 breastroke. With only 1 sec away from his best time in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 breastroke he did well for his first meet. His 200 freestyle relay team actually got a State qualifying time so that is exciting! After this meet Andrew is even more determined to work hard on breastroke this season so that he can try and get a state qualifying time.
200 medley relay (breaststroke) - no individual time. Team time of 1:56.82
50 freestyle - 26.45
200 freestyle relay - 26.31
100 breastroke - 1:17.16
There’s only one Boy Scout Camp that has Ice Climbing in the World, and it happens to be in our neck of the woods. After one of the coldest nights camping, the conditions were perfect for ice climbing. Peter and his friend Josh were able to get into a session and roped up for some hard work and scary climbing! While it doesn’t look steep or hard, ice climbing is incredibly difficult. It requires upper body strength, lower body strength, and a keen sense of adventure. At first, it was really hard to learn how to dig into the ice with the ax and the crampons. After a couple of goes at the wall, Peter was able to climb up some pretty challenging walls of ice. It was a lot of fun and crazy to see. This was definitely a cool experience at the Scout Freezerie.
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.
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.