Bodin earns All-American Honors

After crossing the line during a qualifying heat at the USATF Junior Olympic National Championships on July 28, Holy Family alumna Allie Bodin ’16 knew that her new personal best 800 meter time of 2:12.91 was now the fastest in Holy Family Catholic High School history, surpassing alumna and 2016 Olympic Trials marathon qualifier Bria Wetsch’s mark from 2006.

Upon arrival at her hotel later that day, Bodin was given a message of congratulations from Wetsch with a phone number saying she would love to chat with Holy Family’s new 800 meter record holder, a sign of mutual respect from one alum Fire athlete to another.

“After anchoring the State runner-up 4×800 meter relay my sophomore year, I knew that I wanted to win State during my high school career, which drove me to set my sights high on [Bria Wetsch’s] school record. Bria was a role model for me,” remarked Bodin. She achieved her goal in early June when she won the 2016 Minnesota State High School League State Meet’s Girls 800m title.

Bodin continued to race during the early summer months in the USATF Junior Olympic 17 and 18 women’s division’s 800 meter run. With her first place finishes at the state and regional meets, she qualified for the USATF Junior Olympic National Championship Meet held on the campus of California State University in Sacramento July 26-31. In near-record California heat, she raced against other state champions and top ranked athletes from every USATF Region Championship meet across the United States. The heat did not alter her approach to her races. “Having run a new personal-best time at the State meet in 90-degree heat, the potential for near-record heat never really concerned me.”, she said, “I needed to trust my training and prepare mentally and physically to compete to the best of my abilities.” She added, “It is a blessing in itself that I was even granted the opportunity to compete in Sacramento among some of the best in the nation, and will be forever grateful for all of the support given to me by my parents, coaches, family, and friends.”

The path to the final race would include a preliminary heat on July 27 and a semifinal heat on July 28. Bodin knew it would take her best effort to continue her season, against a field of some of the country’s best. Bodin successfully made it to the semifinal heat and ended the race with a new school record and a top seed for the final race on Saturday.

“While there were more girls running faster times going into the National meet in comparison to the State meet, I knew that it would all depend on the day,” said the 2016 MSHSL Class A champion Bodin. “There is no point in stressing out about your competition; you can only control what you can control: your positive mentality and physical preparation,” she stated. Bodin prays the Guardian Angel’s prayer before every race as a source of comfort and strength.

From the outset of her record-setting run in the USATF National semi-final, Bodin set a blistering pace, leading at the cut-in mark with a 200m split time that rivaled her school 400m record time set earlier in the summer. “I remember when I saw my unusually fast first 200 meter split time in the semi-finals; I remained calm and knew that I had trained hard in preparation for this moment, and I would be fine,” recalled Bodin. “It can be stressful at times when you realize you have trained so long in preparation for such a short race. You have to be present in that moment; otherwise, you could end up living with regret later.” From the moment she crossed the line at the halfway point in her semifinal race, Bodin held off her competitors and finished in a heat winning time of 2:12.91, a new Holy Family Track and Field record. She would move on to compete in Saturday’s final.

With the mercury climbing to a high of 103 degrees on the Sacramento State University track on Saturday, July 30, Bodin capped her track and field season and high school track and field career by finishing 4th overall in a finals time of 2:13.97 for her first All-America honor. Aziza Ayoub, an Ohio high school state champion claimed the national title.

Not long after returning from the national championship, Bodin left to begin her collegiate experience as an athlete at St. Louis University. She remains grounded in her faith and determined to make the most of her opportunities. “I always find comfort in my favorite quote by Eleanor Powell, ‘What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God,’ meaning that everyone should focus on becoming someone who brings out the best in those around you,” Bodins says, “which I hope I can do as a student-athlete at SLU these next four years.”

Bringing Summer Learning to the Classroom

In July, Holy Family Catholic High School Spanish teacher and Fire For Life Club advisor, Mrs. Karen Kidrowski, completed the final year of a three-year Lasallian education and formation program through Buttimer Institute for Lasallian Studies. Located on the campus of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, The Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies is an intensive Lasallian education and formation program that studies the life and work of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the origins of the Lasallian educational mission.

Participants attend the institute from all over the world for three consecutive summers, in two-week durations, and complete three courses of study: The Founding Story, St. John the Baptist De La Salle’s Educational Vision, and St. John the Baptist De LaSalle’s Spiritual Vision.

Completion of the program requires enrollment in a practicum addressing the needs of the Lasallian Educational Community. Mrs. Kidrowski’s practicum focused on completing work for the International Young Lasallians located in Rome and networking with other teachers to generate ideas for classroom use.

Mrs. Kidrowski’s personal goal in attending the institute aligned well with the mission of the program. She stated, “My goal was to learn more about what it means to be a Lasallian educator and bring the mission and philosophy back into my classroom.”

Theology instructors Mr. Doug Bosch, Mrs. Lynnae Bosch and Mr. Andy Witchger have also completed Buttimer Institute’s Lasallian Formation Program.

Holy Family Catholic High School is a Catholic high school grounded in the Lasallian tradition. Lasallian Education centers on Catholic values and personal relationships, emphasizing academic excellence, faith formation, inclusion, respect for the individual, service, and social justice. A Lasallian Education strives to enrich each student’s cultural, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual development.

Garden Project Supports Local Food Shelf

Holy Family Catholic High School’s Garden Project has delivered almost 80 pounds of produce to the Bountiful Baskets food shelf in Chaska this summer. In its third year, early estimates point to a bumper crop for the 2016 harvest which appears likely to outpace last year’s donation total of 110 pounds of produce.

Long before the warm growing season arrives, project advisor and science teacher Jim Walker starts the plants in the south-facing windows of his classroom. The plants are moved to the school greenhouse in April to grow in preparation for spring planting. After soil temperatures reach appropriate temperatures, student volunteers help transplant the starter plants to the garden’s raised beds. Plants are kept pest-free without the use of chemical pesticides and weeds are kept at bay with straw mulch and willing summer volunteers.

Harvest dates are intentionally staggered to provide produce to the food shelf after donations of vegetable varieties from home gardens may have ended. The hope is to keep a manageable and wide variety of produce available at the food shelf throughout the summer months.

This fall, a small apple orchard will be added near the garden in honor of long-time employee, Mary Stenerson, who relocated to Detroit Lakes. When the trees bear fruit in approximately 2-3 years, the garden project volunteers will have fruit to share, as well.