2014 Elementary Track Meet

Click for more photosThis year the Puyallup School District again held its elementary school track meet.  With Daniel off to junior high school, David was the only Averill participating.  He ran in the 4×100 relay and also the 800 meter.  These events are always tremendous fun – not so much for what happens in the races, but mainly for the interactions with all the kids.  And David is so very social that he is an absolute blast to watch all day.

After David ran the 800 (video below), he was speaking with the superintendent, who later shared with me that he got a kick out of his conversation with David because, while they were talking there was a line of junior high girls at the fence saying, “Hi David” and pretty much insisting on getting his attention.  It seems everybody knows this kid!

Click the photo to see more from this great day.

Track Highlights

Aylen track team

Daniel had his first season of Junior High track and he LOVED IT!!!  He is such a gifted runner (so is David, but we’ll get to him) and he seems to get stronger as the races get longer.  The longest junior high races are 1600 meters (1 mile).  For the first couple track meets, seventh-graders are only allowed to run Junior Varsity; after that, it’s whatever they qualify for.  Varsity and J.V. run at the same time so sometimes it’s confusing to watch.  In the first race, Daniel finished first overall.  He explained that it was because one of his teammates – a fast 9th grader – was unable to compete that day.

For the second race, you need to watch the video.  With good competition from the 9th grader mentioned above, Daniel finished in under 5 minutes!  I won’t spoil the race results, but it comes down to the end.  I will say that both boys established new Personal Records in this race.  Take 5 minutes and watch.

Meanwhile, David competed in the Elementary Track Meet (there’s only one for the district).  Although there are some good runners, David’s size and Ethiopian heritage render the race one in which the rest of the competitors can only hope to come in second (in the 800).  He runs hard and only tries to beat the clock (which really means the others will finish far off in the distance).  Click on the picture at the top to see a select set of pictures.  You’ll find the boys running, watching/cheering teammates, talking with the Superintendent (who takes a very strong interest in the boys – he’s super supportive), and generally having a good time.  David’s 800 meter video is posted below.

Daniel – Wrestling

Daniel has been making the most of Junior High.  He is doing well in his classes, enjoying the social aspects, and participating in virtually every sport.  He wrestled this season and, even though he says he probably won’t return next year, learned a lot and did quite well.  His unbelievable balance and quickness allowed him to succeed at both Junior Varsity and Varsity depending on what the team needed for each meet.  He lost some, but won most of his matches.  Here is a selection of photos, including from the end-of-year banquet.

Quick Visit With Peter, Eileen and Allison

Allison under pressure

Our friends from Lincoln, California remain close in our hearts even though we don’t get together often enough.  This January, Allison had a hockey tournament in Portland, Oregon the same weekend that the boys had a basketball tournament in nearby Longview, Washington.  We headed down to Portland early since Allison’s game was at 8:00 am.  We had a great time watching her game and then spending a bit of time with them.

Click the picture to see more.

Daniel’s First Wresting Season

Daniel is always adventurous.  One of the things we admire about him is his willingness – actually – to try new things.  If those things are athletic in nature, he is virtually certain to sign on.  This year he tried wresting.  Sary-Jo made it to most of his meets, and Randy made a few.  We’ve included a sampling of pictures and some video.  As you can tell on the video, Sary-Jo is a pretty excitable mom when her son is on the wrestling mat!  I don’t know exactly what Daniel’s record was, but he won more than he lost.  More important, he gained some additional confidence and was part of a different team.  We’re very proud of him.  Click on the picture to see more.  Enjoy the video below.

Haunted Hustle – 5K

Daniel and David

Last year, Daniel was unable to run in the Haunted Hustle because he got sick.  So, David had to come in first in the 17-and-under category.  As a result of his first-place finish, he was able to compete for free this year.  In the 2013 race, they were both healthy and ran well.  Daniel finished in about 19 minutes (a little under because he didn’t start at the front of the pack).  David finished in less than 21 minutes.  Daniel gets to run for free next year, but David’s name was drawn for a free pair of running shoes!  What a day.

Here’s video of both boys finishing.  And there are plenty of pictures – click on the one showing to see more.

River Jam (soccer tournament)

The boys have been playing a lot of soccer.  One of the tournaments, in which they had a lot of success, was the River Jam.  The weather was perfect and the tournament was right here in Puyallup.  The boys played well and won their division.  Click on the picture of the team to see a lot more pictures.

Independence 5K

The Tacoma City Running Club kicked off the Fourth of July with its inaugural Independence 5K run, so of course the boys had to enter.  It was a downhill course, starting at a park and ending down at the waterfront. It turned out to be a great day for running – dry but not hot.  Out of 469 runners who finished the race, Daniel finished 20th overall and first in the under 14 age group, with a time of 17:29.5.  David finished 50th overall and third in the under 14, with a time of 20:05.6.  Way to go, boys!

Success Soccer Camp 2013

Once again, Daniel and David were able to participate in a week-long soccer camp run by a former US Olympic coach, Colleen Hacker.  It’s an fun yet intense camp that included five hours of soccer every day. The culmination is their “World Cup” in which kids are matched up on “National” teams.  This year, David managed to get his team established as Ethiopia. They had a blast; we have a TON of pictures.  Enjoy.

Basketball Challenge


Karshner Elementary School (where our boys attend) and Spinning Elementary decided to stage a friendly basketball game between the 6th graders. They actually played two games – one for the boys and one for the girls. The kids and families had so much fun. We were especially impressed with the sportsmanship as the kids cheered each other on and just generally had a great time. During the girls game, it was so much fun to see the kids sing the Karshner school song, which they had learned during music class this year.

Click the picture to see more. Watch the video of the school song (I missed the beginning due to the spontaneous nature of the singing).