AYF Athletes of the Month
Austin Youth Fitness Athlete of the Month is a showcase of the talented young men and women in our community. The power and spirit of our youth is limitless, and AYF thinks it's important to let other young athletes know what their peers are doing in the fitness community. Congratulations to the following AYF Athletes of the Month!
December Athlete of the Month
Jack Monti participates in AYF's Running and Biking Clubs @ Cedar Creek Elementary. Jack was nominated by his coaches because Jack had a great semester with running and biking club and works well with all his coaches and other participants! Coaches have enjoyed getting to see him grow in both his running and biking skills! Jack participated in his first 5K as part of the Austin Marathon 5K in April. He also ran the Turkey Trot 5 mile run in downtown Austin this Thanksgiving - his longest run yet! He also did an almost year long biking streak that started last March at the beginning of the pandemic and only ended because of the winter storm in February.
Aside from running and biking, Jack is on the Whitecaps of Westlake swim team. He also plays soccer and basketball, and he is looking forward to starting flag football in January. Jack is an avid reader and is working his way through the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
Jack's favorite things about AYF are the games they play during running club and exploring new places in biking club.
Jack's favorite thing about school is playing with friends at recess, PE, and art. When Jack grows up, he wants to be an author or teacher.
Way to go Jack Monti for being AYF's December Athlete of the Month!
November Athlete of the Month
Pepper Grabowski participates in AYF's Running and Biking Clubs @ Barton Hills Elementary. Pepper was nominated by her coaches because, "Pepper has a great positive attitude. She is always eager to participate and provides helpful and accurate information she’s learned through every session. She’s told me how she wants to apply all the aspects of running into becoming a better soccer player. She is a great leader in the biking club. I can rely on her to be the “lead coach” of the group if I need to block an intersection and she will follow instructions on where to stop and keep everybody safe."
Pepper's initial mile time in session 1 was 13:56 which improved to 9:20 when we ran again during the 2nd session! Aside from AYF, Pepper plays on Lone Star Soccer teams, Huns Youth Rugby, plays tennis, and participates in Earth Native Nature School. Additionally Pepper is an active member of Girl Scouts and loves to hike and go hiking with friends and family.
Pepper's favorite thing about AYF is, "You learn new skills every week, and you get fit! I have so much fun at the running and biking club!"
Pepper's favorite thing about school is writing, math, and recess soccer! When she grows up, Pepper wants to be a marine biologist.
Way to go Pepper Grabowski for being AYF's November Athlete of the Month!
October Athlete of the Month
Aliana Arthur participates in AYF's Running and Biking Clubs @ Cedar Creek Elementary. Aliana was nominated by her coaches because she has a positive, confident personality, always asks questions, makes sure the other kids are listening to their coaches, and is always excited for practice to start. She makes the practices fun and makes sure the other kids are having fun too!
Aside from AYF, Aliana plays soccer, is involved in acting, plays the piano, and enjoys swimming and skiing. She enjoys writing letters to friends and creating art. Aliana is always up for a fun game, she enjoys traveling, and loves to bake sweet treats!
Aliana's favorite thing about AYF is staying active, exploring neighborhoods while riding her bike, and learning how to run better.
Aliana's favorite thing about school is spending time with friends, math, art, PE, music, and learning Spanish. When she grows up, she'd love to be a soccer player, veterinarian, actor, or an artist!
Way to go Aliana Arthur for being AYF's October Athlete of the Month!
September Athlete of the Month
Waterford Lauren is in 1st grade and participates in AYF's Running Club @ Westenfield Park. Waterford was nominated by his coaches because he comes to running club with a great attitude, is attentive with coaches, and works hard to run and have fun!
Waterford has been selected for AYF Athlete of the Day several times and is proud that he can run a mile without stopping. He also can run ten minutes without stopping during our endurance challenges.
Aside from Running Club, Waterford is a great swimmer and is currently enrolled in parkour. Outside of physical activity, Waterford is an artist, an avid reader, he loves fishing and the outdoors, loves traveling, loves Top Golf, loves animals, and loves carrots!
Waterford's favorite thing about AYF is playing up/down tag as well as running!
Waterford's favorite thing about school is math, and when he grows up, he wants to be a golf coach.
Way to go Waterford Lauren for being AYF's September Athlete of the Month!
August Athlete of the Month!
Lucy Pieratt is going into the 3rd grade and participates in AYF's Cycle the City Camp.
She loved having archery as an activity at her summer camp, and she even got 2 bullseyes. She's improved at swim team this year and took 16 seconds off her backstroke record! She is really working hard on biking up “misery hill” (by Reed Park) without having to stop and walk.
Coaches nominated Lucy because she's always so fun to be around, works really hard, and has improved so much as a rider!
Lucy also loves to hold lemonade or hot chocolate sales and donate the proceeds. Her favorite place to donate them is Community 1st or Helping Hand. She goes to Good Shepard and went to their VBS this year and loved it!
Lucy's favorite thing about AYF is being about to be with friends as well as hang out with Coach Lucy. She also loves the stops for treats along the way during biking camp. Lucy's favorite thing about school is lunch recess, and when she grows up, her plan A is to be a singer and plan B is to be a scientist.
Way to go Lucy Pieratt for being AYF's August Athlete of the Month!
July Athlete of the Month
Salvador (AKA Salva) joined Austin Youth Fitness for four full weeks of Cycle the City camp and brought us joy, fun, and laughter every single day! Salvador just completed kindergarten at Casis Elementary, and he is the youngest of five brothers! Salvador loves to swim and is in his element when he swims, which is why he misses living by the ocean.
Salvador was born in Peru, but his family had moved to Puerto Rico. In 2017, their family lost just about everything in hurricane Maria, including their restaurants. They relocated to the United States, and now own Olaya, a Peruvian food truck on Rainey Street.
Salvador likes to cook, and cats are one of his favorite animals. His favorite subjects in school are PE and Art! He says the best hobby in the world is being with his family! Salvador's favorite thing about AYF is getting to hang out with his big brother (Cristo is a junior coach), as well as be with the Phillips family, who have become like family to him!
Congrats to Salvador for being AYF's July Athlete of the Month!
June Athlete of the Month
Liesl loves to be active and loves to be outdoors! She has been attending Austin Youth Fitness Biking Club and camps for the past two years, and also enjoys frequent bike rides with her family around the neighborhood. Liesl's favorite sport is swimming, and she's swimming on a City of Austin swim team for the second summer this year. Her favorite stroke is freestyle, although she is excited to finally be learning butterfly. This past spring Liesl also played soccer with a great group of girls on a WAYA soccer team that won second place for their age group. Liesl also loves gymnastics. You can often find her doing cartwheels in her living room, or swinging from the rings on her slackline. She is very excited to get back to gymnastics classes again in the fall after missing them during the pandemic.
Liesl's favorite thing about AYF Biking Club is biking together as a team around the city! Liesl loves everything about school, but especially loves learning about Egypt and space. When she grows up, she hopes to be an astrophysicist so she can study space from Earth.
May Athlete of the Month
Declan McGinnis started participating in AYF back in 2012. He'd always come to running club ready to run and have some fun! As the years went by, Declan knew early on he wanted to work with AYF, and started as a Junior Coach in 2017. Declan has also participated in AYF's Run to the Sun Fun Run, placing 3rd in the 11 and up group in 2016 and 1st place in 12 and up for 2017.
Declan is graduating this month and is attending University of Portland in the fall. Declan plans to major in Social Work there, but recently has been thinking about teaching. He wants to work with kids and this is largely in part because of his involvement in coaching with AYF.
Declan regularly says coaching with AYF is the most rewarding job ever. In addition to loving his coworkers, he LOVES working with the kids and helping them learn to ride and be more confident on their bikes. He's taught many beginner bikers to bike independently with private lessons as well as in AYF's Beginner Biking Group.
Congratulations to Declan for being AYF's May Athlete of the Month!
April Athlete of the Month Copy
Ruby Ankenbauer is currently in Pre-K and participates in AYF's Beginner Biking Group. Ruby was nominated by her coaches because, "Ruby has such a good attitude every time I’ve ever coached her at AYF! She’s curious, adventurous, good-natured, and athletic! She isn’t afraid to try new things or get out there and explore, and she inspires me to tap into my inner-kid." - Coach Amanda
"Ruby is the kid who climbs every tree first and then gets down and shows the other kids how to get up themselves!" - Coach Ruth
Ruby has been biking since she was two and a half years old. She learned quickly so she can keep up with her older brothers Townes and Manning. Aside from Biking Club, Ruby plays soccer at WAYA and recently was awarded Player of the Week from her coaches there. Ruby is a real mover and shaker on the field! Ruby's favorite subject in school is reading, and Ruby also enjoys attending church. Ruby's mom says her favorite drink is coffee and she enjoys drinking it while praying.
Ruby's favorite thing about AYF's Biking Club is that she loves the end when they get to find out who was Athlete of the Day. Ruby's favorite thing about school is the playground and getting to play on the rocks, and she wants to be a work-man or fireman when she grows up.
Congratulations to Ruby for being AYF's April Athlete of the Month!
March Athlete of the Month
Rhodes Munoz is currently in 2nd grade and participates in AYF's Biking Group. Rhodes was nominated by his coaches because, "Rhodes started with AYF in the Beginner Biking program, progressed quickly, and now he not only bikes with the advanced biking groups, he leads the team! He is a great example of safe and strong biking. He is kind and considerate of others, and a good friend to his teammates. And his coaches love having him in the group because he is so helpful and a wonderful role model." Allison Phillips
Rhodes, like his big brother Luca who was Athlete of the Month in 2016, both love to ride their bikes, especially to get tacos and treats around town. Rhodes and his family enjoyed being able to bike together on recent trips to Bentonville, AK (mountain biking capital of the world!) and San Antonio (the Mission Trail is beautiful and fun!).
Aside from biking Rhodes played Flag Football for the first time this year and enjoyed it! His family has been thankful for more family time outdoors this year and hiking Commons Ford is one of their favorite weekend outings.
Rhodes' favorite thing about AYF's Biking Club is that he likes the feeling of accomplishment after a good ride and he likes knowing the routes to fun places around town. Rhodes' favorite thing about school is friends, and he wants to be an artist or an entrepreneur when he grows up.
Congratulations to Rhodes for being AYF's March Athlete of the Month!
February Athlete of the Month
Ross Matetich is currently in kindergarten and participates in AYF's Beginner Biking Group as well as Running Club. Ross was nominated by his coaches because, "Ross always comes to AYF with a big smile, ready to run and have fun! His positive energy and joyful attitude are contagious - and he makes it fun for everyone. He is a great teammate, lifting up all the other runners in his group. We love Ross!" - Coach Alli.
Aside from biking and running, Ross participates in Parkour, baseball, and soccer. Ross also loves to fish anywhere he can, including Town Lake and in Louisiana. Ross also loves to volunteer with Generation Serve.
Ross' favorite thing about AYF's Running Club is "everything" and Biking Club it's the fun snacks at the end of the session. Ross' favorite thing about school is math and the subtraction boards at Casa Montessori. When he grows up, Ross wants to be a scientist and researcher for humans, animals, and fossils.
Congratulations to Ross for being AYF's February Athlete of the Month!
January Athlete of the Month
Lauren Brooking is currently in 4th grade and participates in AYF's Cycle the City Camps. Lauren was nominated by her coaches because, "Lauren is a delight! She progressed quickly from beginner biking to riding with our advanced groups because of her amazing work ethic and positive attitude. And sharing her positivity, and a sincere kindness and thoughtfulness toward both coaches and peers, Lauren is a great teammate and friend, making AYF even more fun and a wonderful experience for everyone! We love having Lauren in AYF!" - Coach Alli.
Aside from biking, Lauren participates in Hip Hop Dance at Tarrytown Dance and tumbling at Champions Gymnastics. She also enjoys being silly in her free time.
Lauren's favorite thing about AYF Camps are the big groups, as she likes people and to socialize! Lauren's favorite thing about school is reading long books and social studies is her favorite subject. When she grows up, Lauren wants to be a baker on the weekends and a lawyer during the week.
Congratulations to Lauren for being AYF's January Athlete of the Month!