Teachers vs. Sixth-Graders


One of Karshner Elementary’s traditions is the annual “Staff vs. 6th Grader” kickball game. The whole school gathers to watch the action while the two teams battle it out for bragging rights. This year, the kids took the crown. The staff figures that 2014 is their year since there will be no Averill boys playing against them, but I think they’re pretty much conceding 2015.

Click the picture to see more of the action!

Sound to Narrows 5K – 2013

The boys both ran in the Sound to Narrows 5K Teen Challenge again this year.  For those not from the area, this is a huge annual event in Tacoma, with the main attraction being a 12K run.  We don’t think either of the boys is ready for that type of race yet.  The 5K course is very tough because it starts out downhill, but the last mile (plus a bit more) is uphill, with quite a bit of elevation change involved.

Daniel finished 6th overall with a time of 19:15; David finished 14th overall (12th among boys) with a time of 21:03. We are so proud of them.

You can watch the video below.  Click on the picture to see more.

Elementary Track Meet 2013

This is the first year that David, as a 4th grader, could participate in the district-wide elementary school track meet. It was Daniel’s third (and final) such meet. The meet is structured such that 6th graders compete against only 6th graders, while 4th and 5th graders compete against each other. This allowed Daniel and David to compete in the same events and not compete against each other. They both ran the 4×100 relay; David ran the first leg in his race while Daniel anchored his.

They each ran the 800 meter (two laps around the track). Since distance running comes so naturally to them, they were the big attraction at the end of the meet. Even the superintendent remarked to Daniel that he was late for a meeting, but wouldn’t leave until he saw Daniel run. Neither of the boys disappointed – Daniel took first in his race with a time of 2:26 and David was only 8 seconds slower as he took first in the 4th and 5th grade race. The younger kids, as you might expect, have a great variation between the fastest and the slower runners.  When David finishes, there are kids stretched all the way around the track.

My (Randy’s) favorite aspect of the track meet is watching the kids have fun and supporting each other. For each of the four 800 meter races (two for boys and two for girls), for instance, the crowd cheered mightily until the last student crossed the finish line.

Click the picture above to see more. Enjoy the video.


St. Patrick’s Day 5K

Daniel & David

Last year, Daniel ran the St. Paddy’s Day race in Tacoma for his first ever 5K.  We thought David was probably too young to run that far so he ran the 1K.  We had told Daniel to take it easy and not to feel bad if he had to pause or walk for a while.  Then he went out and amazed us, even though the weather was horrible (slushy snow & rain mixture).  This year, we signed both boys up for the 5K with confidence that they’d run (and run hard) the whole way.  The weather was much better than last year, although still typical for March in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (cold and wet).

The race always draws a huge crowd – this year there were 1,582 people in the 5K.  The boys started up front with the rest of the fairly-serious runners.  They took off strong and kept going.  Daniel’s goal was to finish faster than last year’s 19:43.  David wanted to finish within two minutes of Daniel’s time.  Both boys achieved their goals as Daniel took a full minute off his previous time on the same course.  He finished in 18:43 and in first place in the 14 and under age group.  David came in at 20:26 and third in the age group.  Overall, Daniel was the 12th finisher and David the 31st.  We continue to be amazed.

2013 Basketball Season

Daniel and David

David played up a couple years because of his size and athleticism.  After tryouts, both boys ended up on the same team.  We could sure get used to the idea of taking both kids to the same practices and the same games!  Not only that, but they also played very well and won their league.  They were undefeated until the last game (Daniel missed the last game to play a soccer game; the basketball team had already clinched first place).

During the course of the season, individual and team progress was very apparent.  Both of our boys learned to see the court and pass the ball well, and they were relentless on defense.  They also learned to make shots.  Early on, almost all shots were an adventure; but by the end of the season, lay-ups were a sure thing and other field goals had a good chance of going in!  We had a lot of fun watching and cheering on the whole team.  Special thanks to the coaches for keeping the kids well grounded and emphasizing sportsmanship and teamwork.

We were disappointed with most of the pictures, but you can see the best of them by clicking the one above.  We also put together a 3-minute montage of video highlights, below.  David is number 11; Daniel is number 15 (and left-handed).


DBacksInNewsTribuneDaniel’s soccer team was featured in the local paper.  They finished first in their league (which was spread all over the western half of the state).  It was a very successful year and Daniel enjoyed the competition immensely.  Click here to read the blurb (and see the picture) on the paper’s website.

Reindeer Run 2012

Daniel & David both signed up to run the 5K in the inaugural Reindeer Run put on by Rogers High School.  It was a great day for running, with cool temperatures but no rain.  We saw many people we knew, including some teachers from Karshner.  As is typical before a race, the boys kind of got “in the zone” even though Mom and Dad wanted to talk with them.  Then the race started and they took off.  As expected, they stayed near the front.  Daniel was the sixth overall finisher and David was the 11th.  In the 14-and-under age group, they finished… let me try to remember… Oh yeah!  FIRST and SECOND!!!

Click the picture above to see more photos.  Watch the video that includes a bit of pre-race preparation and the start and finishes.

Soccer Gathering

Today was the second annual Wolverines vs. Parents soccer match.  As with other “new traditions” it improves each year.  This year, it included a cookout and pot luck.  Also, Janel and Ryan were in town so Ryan represented the parents.  Randy served as referee again and we’re pretty sure everybody enjoyed themselves.  We got a break in the weather.  For the record, the kids won 3-2.  David scored a goal off a pass from Daniel as time was expiring.

Click the picture for more.  The video below is very brief, but it’s all we took.

Unique Opportunity

Every once in a while, a person gets to meet someone very special.  Daniel and David had that opportunity earlier this month.  Lopez Lomong (click here to read his Wikipedia page) is a two-time Olympian for the United States.  He was born in Sudan and, as a young boy, captured by soldiers.  He and two teen-age boys from his village escaped and ran for three days into Kenya, where he lived in a refugee camp for 10 years.  At age 16, he was sponsored into a U.S. family and later became a US citizen.  (This is ultra-condensed – you should read his story).

Lomong was in Tacoma and met with the cross country team at Bellarmine.  We are fortunate to have connections and our boys were included.  As stated earlier, this was a truly memorable meeting for our boys.  We just have a few pictures and a bit of video.

Haunted Hustle

The City of Puyallup puts on a 5K (and a 10K) run called the Haunted Hustle.  We registered both Daniel & David, but Daniel could not run because he wasn’t feeling well.  So… David went out and won the under 14 age group with a time of 20:21!  He came back looking like he could have run a lot farther – maybe he should try the 10K next year.  As a result of winning his category, he can participate next year without paying the entrance fee.  Overall, he finished fifth.  What a runner!