Kaya Wilson and Gianna Rolfe, members of the Aspen Elementary Girls on the Run team, participated in the 5K Jingle Bell in Santa Fe. Photo Courtesy LAPS
Amanda Padilla (co-coach), sofia Padilla, Julia Schollenberger, Suzy Krosche, Siena Rolfe (junior coach), Logan Beaulieu, Ellie Mack and Ellen O’Neil get ready for the start of the run. Photo Courtesy LAPS
Solea Roybal at the finish of the Jingle Bell 5K.Photo Courtesy LAPS
LAPS NEWS RELEASE
The Aspen Girls on the Run team wrapped up the fall season running in the Jingle Bell 5K in Santa Fe earlier this month. Every student ran with a buddy, and finished the jingle bell/holiday-themed race which drew over 100 participants.
The run was the culmination of 10 weeks of lessons and training by this group of 3rd-6th graders at Aspen Elementary.
“Not only did these girls learn a lot about running and work on their endurance, but they also learned to build confidence, kindness, and decision-making skills, which are the overarching goals of Girls on the Run,” said Head Coach Alisa Rolfe. She is also the Reading Intervention Specialist at Aspen.
Twenty-one girls participated during the season as registered Girls on the Run (GOTR) members. Seven 6th graders were junior coaches. Emily Christiansen, Amanda Padilla, Misha Brown, and Lisa Pike are co-coaches for the program. “The GOTR program is for 3rd-5th grades, so 6th graders cannot officially join, but can serve in leadership roles,” explained Coach Rolfe.
Students who participated in GOTR this fall include Logan Beaulieu, Dakota Brazfield, Shyla Brazfield, Mei Downing Olsen, Lori Epperson, Shemen Gyandoh, Eliana Michel, Lily Nolen, Devani Pacheco, Sofia Padilla, Emelia Pena, Olivia Pulsipher, Navaeh Rodriguez, Lillian Ross, Solea Roybal, Nicole Ryan, Natalee Ryan, Julia Schollenberger, Allison Wernicke, Kaya Wilson, Gianna Rolfe, Ellen O’Neil, Ellie Mack, Angel Ricarte, Zoe Chavarria, Zia Cummings and Lilyana Romero.
“In addition to staying active and learning life skills, the girls completed a community impact project which included picking up trash around Aspen, and writing letters to animal care workers in our community to express their gratitude in caring for animals,” said Coach Rolfe.
Aspen has sponsored a GOTR program since the fall of 2019. Despite having to scale back during the pandemic, the program has had a team every semester.
“I started the club because it’s important to instill in young girls a love of running, being outside, along with the confidence and empowerment that Girls on the Run teaches,” said Coach Rolfe. “I heard about Girls on the Run when I taught in Denver, then noticed when I moved here that Santa Fe had GOTR clubs. I reached out to Santa Fe, and the rest is history!”
The head chapter in Santa Fe helped with training and guidance for the coaching staff during the first season. “That first year that we began, Emily Christiansen, Amanda Waldschmidt, Emily Hayne, and Mallory Chandler were all co-coaches,” Coach Rolfe noted.
Every year the program has a fall team and a spring team. Each season lasts 10 weeks, with the culmination of the season being a 5K run.
Although the season is over for this semester, they are already looking forward to the spring session beginning in March.
GOTR is not limited to just Los Alamos. According to Coach Rolfe, there are other teams in the state. The Santa Fe Girls on the Run chapter covers three counties: Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, and Los Alamos, and there is also an Albuquerque GOTR organization.
For more information about Girls on the Run, go to www.gotr-sf.org.