Yes, they’re going for the gold, but … |

Yes, they’re going for the gold, but …

Shane Macomber/Vail DailyVail Christian's Rachel Glandorf, left, and Leslie Peterson are looking for gold in the 800 meters and 400, respectively, at this weekend's 2A state meet in Pueblo. Yet track just makes up one portion of their lives.

GYPSUM – It would be very easy just to stereotype Vail Christian’s Rachel Glandorf and Leslie Peterson as big-time jocks and leave it at that. Glandorf has won bronze and silver in the 2A state 800 meters the last two years. Peterson has done the same in the 400 and both will be going for gold this weekend in Pueblo.They’re teammates on the 1600 relay team, another contender to medal at the state meet. Glandorf, a senior, is the most high-profile female athlete at the school and will be running track at Baylor next year. Peterson, a junior, will likely assume Glandorf’s mantle and wants to attend Baylor in 2006.It would be simple just to right a story about how Peterson is going to try to break 60 seconds and Glandorf wants to cap her career with 800 gold. That would sell this duo short. What makes these two special is that there is so much more to them than being super athletes. They are modest to a fault, great students in the classroom, enjoy the stage in school plays and, most importantly, share a faith.”Would you like your daughter to be around them and working with them? Yeah, completely,” said Saints coach Bob Isbell, who’s raised two sons, Chris and Travis, with his better half, Linda, who teaches French at Vail Christian. “Rachel teaches Sunday school. She’s been doing it for years. After the league meet which is a long day, there’s Rachel Glandorf walking in on Sunday. They’re both that type of individual. They’re extremely focused on giving back to others.” Bartelli’s on Wednesdays

After five days of school and practices and a game or a meet on Saturday, you could excuse Glandorf for sleeping in on Sunday. But she actually finds teaching Sunday school a re-energizing experience.”Seeing the kids’ outlook on life is so exciting. It’s completely different than mine,” Glandorf said. “Mine’s just, ‘OK, I’ve got all these goals and I need to do all these things to accomplish those goals.’ Those kids, it’s just to fun to be there, fun to learn and they’re just having a blast. I definitely gets me motivated.”Down time with youngsters or even the rare free evening with friends is important for Glandorf. The rest of her life is extremely regimented. From being a three-sport athlete (volleyball, basketball and track) to keeping up her grades with a heavy course load, Glandorf rarely stops. Her faith is one of the things that keeps her going during a hectic senior year. “You get up in the morning. You go to school. Then you have to do a hard workout and then you have to go home and do homework,” Glandorf said. “It’s hard. You can’t do it by yourself. Just knowing that you’re not alone is huge. It’s just nice knowing that you do have help. God is going to help you through it. It just makes it more fun, too.”The two do not wear their religion on their sleeves. They only talk about it when asked. It’s a genuine part of their fabric.”My faith is really important to me,” Peterson said. “I don’t think that I could be out here doing this if I didn’t have my faith. It’s just the most important thing in my life.”So much so that you’ll find Peterson and company at Bartelli’s in Edwards on Wednesday mornings having Bible study.

“There’s me and Rachel and my sister (Karlie) and just a group of girls. It’s really important in our lives, especially during sports seasons,” Peterson said. “It just keeps us united. Mostly, we just pray for each other and know that we’re in everything together, just coming together. We all are Christians and that’s the most important thing in our life.”Parlez-vous …Both are big on French and science when it comes to hitting the books.”They like the French teacher,” Isbell said with a laugh. In fact, both do like Linda Isbell.”Today was our last French class and it was really sad,” said Glandorf, who’s developed a bond with the Isbells.Physics with Mike King is one of Peterson’s favorites.”Physics is everywhere,” she said. “Put that in the paper. That’ll make Mr. King happy.”

Both are figuring on some career in medicine. Glandorf speaks enthusiastically about Mindy Larson’s AP biology class this year. Glandorf is not at all squeamish about dissections and cadavers, learning from these procedures that she will likely go into sports medicine at Baylor.Both have talent for the stage. Peterson loves to sing. She does the national anthem before volleyball games and won the school’s talent show with her voice. She was Liza in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” last month.”I do like music,” Peterson. “I wouldn’t say theater is my thing, but it’s just so easy to be involved in Vail Christian that I was just in it. It was really fun besides being knocked out by Jonathan (Armstead) spinning this girl’s foot into my head at practice one night. Other than that, it was a blast.”Glandorf was the lead in the school’s Christmas production of “Not a Creature was Stirring, not even a Moose,” opposite Armstead.”He didn’t take me out,” Glandorf joked. “There were no casualties.”No stereotypes, either. On the other hand, gold would be nice.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or, Colorado

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