Nationals Results

Sorry it has been so long since my last post about Nationals! Once returning back to Bethel things have been so busy, finishing up little things here and there and packing up to head home for the summer!

Our match with Oklahoma Baptist went very well. We ended up losing 2-7 but the matches were a lot closer than the final score shows. We won at two doubles with Bree Honer and Ashley Koester 8-1 and we also won the six singles with me (Madelyn Weaver) pulling out the win in straight sets 6-3 6-1. There were five points (matches) in there for us to have been able to pull out a win. These are the best results we have had at nationals yet and so it gives us hope and motivation for the years to come.

This season was a truly amazing one and I am sad it is coming to an end. We are losing two great senior women, Miranda Weaver and Shayne Runnion. These two have been tremendous leaders for our team and like sisters to me. They will be missed.

Thank you to all who have supported our team and have been keeping up with us and how our team has been doing during the season and while we were at Nationals. We have received so much support from our school including lots of snacks and drinks for the trip, a wonderful send off and even our own Athletic Director Kent Allshouse driving the 15 hour drive down to watch us play in Alabama.

We are all looking forward to what next season will hold for us!

Alabama: Day Three!

Well yesterday and today (Monday) have been very busy and fun-filled! Yesterday was our beach day. We had an early morning practice at the tennis center and then headed to the beach where we spent several hours laying out, playing in the water, looking for shells and we even saw some dolphins! We then ate dinner at a restaurant right off the beach called “The Hangout.” They have delicious seafood (for those who are into that sort of thing) and also delicious hamburgers! (my king of thing). After returning to our hotel, we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and resting.

Today started off with an early morning as well. We headed to the tennis center at 7:30am to play a couple practice matches with other teams who are in the National Tournament as well. This helped us prepare for our first official match of the tournament which is tomorrow at 1:00pm. Immediately after our matches we grabbed some lunch at a place called “Firehouse Subs” where we met an NFL football player! His name was Brandon Maye who played at Clemson, Mississippi State and then went on to Tampa Bay. After becoming injured, he has currently left the football business, wrote an autobiography and is doing some motivational speaking!

Then it was time for one of my most favorite parts of the day. The tennis teams who come to the National Tournament have opportunity to go into elementary schools all over Mobile Alabama to teach the young kids how to play tennis. This was a blast! Our team along with three others were sent to one of the schools in Mobile, which happened to be the largest. There were three rounds of kids which lasted 20 minutes leach. We played with Kindergarteners, First graders and second graders. They were adorable! I had so much fun teaching and playing with them and they were having just as much fun learning! One of my favorite moments from this experience was with a young kindergarten aged boy. He had his racket in his hand, a ball in the other and looked up at me and said: “If I hit the ball straight up into the air, how high would it go?” I replied with “Oh, it could go pretty high!” His response: “Could it go all the way up to God?” My heart just melted. My experience with this young boy will never be forgotten, him fully expressing his faith as a young child, so open and innocent, not worrying what others will think or say, something that I sometimes fail to do.

After this fun experience the day was not over! We came back, had a few hours of free time before it was time for our 2013 NAIA Banquet of Champions. This is a fancy dinner hosted inside of our hotel for all of the tennis teams men’s and women’s who made it to Nationals. Everyone dresses up and sits with their team at designated tables for the program. One of the things they do at the banquet is  announce awards and recognitions for the NAIA. Miranda Weaver, a senior on the tennis team (and my lovely sister) received the award of “Champions of Character” in which one person from each team is awarded. Miranda, Steph Shogren and Shayne Runnion recieved the Scholar-Athlete award which entails either being a junior or senior with a GPA of 3.5 or above. Last but definitely not least was that Same Gaeddert, one-of-a-kind assistant coach was the regional winner for Assistant Coach of the year and therefore was nominated for the NAIA National Assistant Coach of the year. Our team is so proud of him! That is definitely well-deserved.

That’s it for now, I will update again on how our first official match against Oklahoma Baptist University goes tomorrow. Until then!

Fun in Alabama

The women’s tennis team is now here in Alabama safe and sound! We left Friday after lunch and after two long days of driving we finally arrived at our hotel in Mobile. For dinner to this chicken place called “Raisin’ Canes.” We went to the restaurant last year as well which was DELICIOUS! We also tried out the hot tub and swimming pool at our hotel. Now, we are getting ready to head out to this coffee shop with amazing smoothies and gelatos which is a block away from our hotel.

Tomorrow we are going to have a morning practice at the tennis center and then we are heading to the beach for the rest of the day! We don’t play our official match until Tuesday, but coming this early helps us get acclimated to the hotter and more humid weather that Alabama has.

Fortunately I along with several others finished all my finals before leaving for Alabama so on this trip I am really able to relax and enjoy it! (besides a few small journals/reflection papers). Traveling with the tennis team has been so much fun (as always) and I am looking forward for the rest of the trip!

Alabama Bound!

Results from the conference tournament for men’s and women’s tennis:

The men played McPherson in their semi-finals match who is ranked nationally as a team. They lost 5-2 but they played hard, had some great matches and played them even better than they did in regular season conference play!

After a 5-0 win over Kansas Wesleyan the women’s tennis team is going to Nationals in Alabama!

We leave for Alabama this Friday. That means that we will be missing finals week. Missing finals week means that we need to make sure that we get our finals taken before Friday! Yikes! This makes the ending of the school year twice as stressful for us as we are trying to figure out how we are going to get everything done. However, the up side to this is that we will get the school work out of the way so we can just relax and enjoy Alabama, the beach, and the nationals tournament!

Stress Busters:

Learn how to say no: Yes we all do need study breaks or social contact once in awhile, but if your friends want to go out but you really need to finish that big project or study for that big test, don’t be afraid to say no. Same with studying in a group. That can be a fun way to study and in some people’s cases very helpful. However, if you are one of those people who do better and learn more by studying by yourself, don’t be afraid to say no to that either.

Deep breathing: This sounds almost two simple but if you are getting to a state of being really stressed, then stepping back and taking a few deep breaths from your abdomen can really help calm you back down and help you to refocus.

Women’s Tennis Conference Tournament

Well, today is the day of the women’s tennis conference tournament. The winner of this tournament gets to proceed to nationals in Alabama! The Bethel women’s team has won this tournament and gone onto nationals the past four years and we hope to make it a fifth!

The semi final against Southwestern College was this morning at 9:00am in Wichita at Genesis. The Bethel ladies swept the match 5-0. In this tournament, the first to five matches wins. This means that the rest of the matches being played are stopped and are not finished. The girls won the three doubles matches and the two singles matches that finished, getting the last two points, were Bree Honer and Stephanie Shogren.

Because of the poor weather continuing on into May, today we have been playing indoors, however due to a mix-up in communication about courts we will not be able to play our final’s match against Kansas Wesleyan until 7:00pm this evening.

The men will play their semi finals match tomorrow, Friday the 3rd at Wichita Country Club at 9:00am for those who would be interested in coming out and supporting!


Now for a few more stress busters like I have promised:

– If you have some bubble wrap, pop it! If not, here is some virtual bubble wrap just for you:)

– Stop and take a few deep breaths

– Practice Mindfulness – focus intently on an object such as eating and slowly savoring a piece of chocolate, or noticing the weight or color of your pencil, etc.

Upcoming Tennis And Some More Stress Busters!

Alright everyone, strap on your seatbelts because things are about to get crazy. At least they are for the Bethel Men’s and Women’s tennis teams. Scheduled to play today and three of the next four days the bulk of our season is on the line. The women are the defending conference champions and are hoping to repeat again this year. The men are looking for a shot at the end of the season tournament and both are off to an excellent start. The women are 5 and 0 with convincing victories over Southwestern, McPherson, Tabor, Bethany and Friends. The men are 3 and 2, their only losses coming at the hands of the nationally ranked teams McPherson and Bethany. All of the matches remaining in our conference schedule are at home as well as a few more non-conference matches. We would love to have you come out and support us. Both squads offer a peak at some of the best tennis around. Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: Baker @ 2pm (Home) *****(Edit: this match was cancelled due by Baker due to possible bad weather)

Wednesday: Hesston @ 6pm (Hesston College) (JV) *****(Edit: this match was also cancelled due to rain)

Thursday: Kansas Wesleyan @ 3pm (Home) ****(Edit: this match might also be postponed until Tuesday because of possible rain)

***** Hopefully we will have some nice weather one of these days for those who are interested in coming out and supporting the Men’s and Women’s tennis teams!

Also as promised I have a few more stress buster tips thanks to a few of my willing mod mates!

– Make time for a fun activity. Do this so you can take your mind off of your homework for a little while!

– Eat a piece of chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better! (Plus it really does release endorphins in your body!)

– Take a nap. Another way to relax and help get your mind off of all you need to do while on a break!

– Go on a run. Sometimes doing a fun activity with friends helps reduce stress but other times or for other people making some alone time for yourself helps, along with exercise as I mentioned in my last blog. (Running release endorphins into your body, too!)

That’s all the stress busters for today, look for my next blog which will include some more!


Balancing Studies and Sports

Hey there!

I’m currently in my third year as a student athlete and if there’s something I wish I’d been a little more prepared for in the beginning,  it’s knowing how to balance school work and athletics.

First of all, participating in any collegiate sport is going to take some time managment. When you sign, you make a committment to your team, coaches, and yourself to perform on the field/court and in the classroom. You can’t have one without the other, so it’s important to plan our your schedule so you have time for studies. Practices, workouts, and games will take up a lot of your time, but as long as you stay on top of your classes it’s manageable.

I suggest writing in your planner, so you don’t forget what assignments are due for what class and when (trust me, you need to write it down!). I also make lists on a regular basis, sometimes it’s just a rough outline of the tasks I need to complete and in what order. Prioritizing is a huge key, I always start with what is the most time consuming assignment and then what needs to get done first.

Although you’ll have lots going on besides team commitments and school, you do need to set aside time for a social life and some relaxation. If you prioritize well and get done what is on your list, you’ll notice it gets easier to find some free time.

I’m not going to lie and say you’ll always have time, because there’s no doubt it’s going to get stressful. I can guarantee that at times it will seem chaotic, but do yourself a favor and manage your time effectively!

Talk with your coaches and teammates, odds are they’ll be willing to help you in any way they can. Study with teammates, ask for a tutor, and let your coach know if you’re struggling.

Remember, managing your time is the key, playing a sport and excelling in the classroom is possible!



Qualifiying for nationals

“Bradley threw a season best 44.25m in the Discus at the Southwestern Relays. With the mark she finished 1st out of 26 competitors. She currently holds the best throw in the KCAC and ranks 6th in the NAIA.” – KCAC full article

Technically 5th in the nation on everything that I have seen. But I think it is exciting. Two weekends ago, we participated at a meet in Winfield. For one of my throws, everything just fell into place. I threw a 44.25 meter throw, which is about 145ft 2in. This throw did lots for me, lots of exciting things for me. 1. I won first place in the meet. 2. I jumped to first in the KCAC conference. 3. I broke the school record. 4. I qualified for the national meet. And 5. Am currently ranked 5th in the Nation.

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Quitters never win… or do they?

Coming to Bethel had a lot of implications for me. For starters, it meant that I would be two state lines away from home. It meant that I would have to fight my own battles without the reliance of my parents. It meant I would have to be responsible. *gasp*

It also meant that I would be accomplishing a lifelong dream, and as far as I was concerned, this dream was the reason for my existence. I got the opportunity to play college basketball.

Aside from my jersey and lack of face paint not much differentiated me during my first two years from the guys in student section spectating and  longing to be on court. This season, however, I was in a significant position to contribute. I started nearly every game, averaged a healthy 8 points a game, scored career highs, and was generally an integral part of the team.

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Sports Photography

For the past three-and-a-half years, I have been the self-proclaimed sports photographer at Bethel College.  I really love photographing the passion that people have for a particular activity, and sports photography is one way of doing that.  I usually try to attend at least one tournament/match/meet/game per season for each sport, and usually attend far more.  I enjoy seeing the passion that my classmates have for their respective sport and the camaraderie that exists between teammates.  And it is so wonderful to be present when something truly legendary happens, such as the basketball win that recently occurred over Southwestern, the football team’s “bouquet toss” in 2010, or the inaugural game (and win!) of Bethel’s new softball team.