Shaping Their Future
Each year, thousands of Central Oregon teenagers attend school, play sports, and work part time jobs. Some tackle gigantic work loads that make “walking barefoot, uphill both ways in the snow to school” seem like a picnic. Others altruistically volunteer at non-profits, while seeking to make the world a better place. Still others focus on a singular passion as they try to achieve athletic goals in their specific discipline.
Student athletes oftentimes spend hours each day—on top of their regular schoolwork—in the gym, the pool, on the slopes or the field. It’s difficult not to marvel at their commitment. Bend Lifestyle talked to six teenage athletes to hear what it’s like to be them; including their workout routines, sacrifices made, and hopes for the future.
As you read the following pages, be inspired by Casandra, Jake, Lacey, Cameron, Chance and Alex.
With a contagious smile and a humble approach to listing her accomplishments, Casandra (Casi) Shaffer has a way of making “I’ve just come from the Olympic trials” sound like it’s no big deal. At age 16, Casi competed in seven races at the 2016 US Paralympic Trials in North Carolina in July. While she didn’t make the team this time, she did have some personal bests, including two first place finishes and three additional podium appearances.
“Just going there, giving it everything I’ve got and having that experience,” explains Casi. “I had my heart and soul in each race.”
Younger sister Sarah was first to get into swimming. Casi followed because, frankly, she got bored sitting and watching. Sarah continues to be an inspiration for Casi. Also, their mom Jody was a bronze medal Paralympian swimmer in Barcelona in 1992.
During her second Paralympic meet, Casi had her “whoa moment.” After taking first or second place in all of her events, she realized she had a talent for swimming. In addition, up to that point, she’d only compared herself to the able-bodied swimmers on her home Bend Swim Club team and not to athletes “who have bodies with a difference.”
“Just going there, giving it everything I’ve got and having that experience. I had my heart and soul in each race.” –Casi Shaffer
Casi prefers the sprints—50 and 100 meters in length—and the backstroke is her specialty. Her workouts are 1.5 hours weekday mornings, 2 hours on Saturday and half hour “dryland” (cardio) three times each week—all the while attending Bend Senior High School. She also regularly teaches swim lessons to younger students at Juniper Swim and Fitness Center.
Casi has her sights set on the Youth ParaPans in Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2017 and possibly the World Championships. She also plans to continue teaching and being involved in the Bend Youth Collective, her church youth group.
After moving to Bend from Hawaii at age seven, Jake Mageau took up skiing. Four years later, he entered a half-pipe race; which sounds like relatively normal behavior for a Bend kid. The only difference is he had never actually dropped into a half-pipe before.
Apparently, Jake had a knack for it. He currently ranks sixth in the world in the Junior Men’s Division of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP). In addition, he recently brought home the Silver Medal for the US at the Junior World Half Pipe Championship in Valmalenco, Italy.
Although only a 2016 graduate of Summit High School, Jake seems to have an old soul. For instance, when asked about his “aha moment,” he responded, “You don’t always get the result you want, so it is equally important to enjoy the experience and journey. Every day is a new day.” And, if you take a quick trip over to his Instagram account (it’s linked from his professional biography online), you’ll find that he enjoys the relatively calm and peaceful art of rock stacking in his free time. This awareness and creativity have clearly inspired his skiing. His coaches and fellow skiers are on record as saying that he does moves that no one else is doing.
Jake’s passport has seen plenty of action over the years. He’s been to Canada (Calgary and Whistler), Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Sweden, and of course, various US ski towns.
“You don’t always get the result you want, so it is equally important to enjoy the experience and journey. Every day is a new day.” –Jake Mageau
The future looks like a lot more of the same for Jake. He’ll be training, skiing, traveling and competing with the US Freeski Rookie Team. The next trip is back to New Zealand in the Fall.
“I’m looking to dial in my technique and tricks,” he says.
Jake does intend to go to college, most likely in Utah in order to be closer to skiing and training facilities for his sport.
Lacey’s parents always had a “give everything a try” outlook for their kids. When she first tried soccer, it was because her mom signed her up for the class, not because Lacey enjoyed it. Yet somehow when the choice came up again the following year, she said, “sure!”
“No one does this alone. There is not a chance I’d be able to do what I do without my parents.” –Lacey Adye
And she never stopped. At eight years old, she joined a club team and has played club soccer year-round ever since. Soccer was so important to her that when her family was planning their move from Southern California to Bend, she came up for tryouts ahead of time.
Lacey currently plays with the Portland-based Crossfire United – ECNL Onyx team. She practices with the team once each week in Portland, which makes keeping up with her classes—many of which are part of the International Baccalaureate program—quite difficult.
This leads to her thoughts on what people maybe don’t realize; it takes a lot of time management and pre-planning to be this dedicated to a sport. Friends want to do things together, but she has to say no because of what lies ahead in the week. And sometimes outsiders lose sight of what it takes to support an athlete. However, her brother is a huge support. An athlete himself, they train together and push each other to keep improving.
“No one does this alone,” Lacey says. “There is not a chance I’d be able to do what I do without my parents.”
Meanwhile, Lacey’s senior year at Bend Senior High School will include involvement with the Interact Club as club president. She also enjoys singing, horseback riding, Student Council and has been a consistent National Honor Society member.
Lacey is proud of her verbal commitment to play Division 1 soccer at the University of San Diego. She’ll enjoy her four years of playing and then will most likely pursue a job outside of soccer.
Cameron, an incoming senior at Summit High School, is a known entity in the cycling world. At age 18, he travels extensively both nationally and internationally for his year-round sports, cycling and cyclocross.
While his parents are cyclists—they enjoy cycle tours on vacations—it was 100% Cameron’s choice to get involved in racing. He was inspired by the cyclists who were invited to stay at their home during the Cascade Cycling Classic each year. Watching the races and cheering on their visitors, he became entranced. And now, he races with one of their repeat guests, Tim Johnson and his Cannondale Cyclocross World Team.
“I’m not sure anyone realizes just how much of the time I’m gone.” –Cameron Beard
Cameron’s training regime is year-round. It takes time, compromises and discipline. Since road races can be up to 100 miles in distance, he spends at least 20 hours a week on the bike. And, because of the endurance aspect of riding at competition speeds for 4-6 hours, he spends even more time each week on strength.
After all that, Cameron still makes time to study. He also helps younger cyclists in the program where he got his start, Bend Endurance Academy.
“I’m not sure anyone realizes just how much of the time I’m gone,” says Cameron.
European trips consist of month-long spans at the US team house in Holland, which has become a second home. Stateside, the team stays in host houses—each one different—for their week-long trips. The longest period of time he’s home is between four to six weeks.
Contract season for cycling began in August and finalizes in October. Cameron’s life will change dramatically depending upon who becomes his new sponsor. One thing is certain, Cameron is going to be on the bike for a long time to come.
As a young child, Chance’s energy needed to be focused. So his mom signed him up for active Bend Parks and Recreation classes where the incoming Bend High senior found his passion. It was lacrosse. He was in third grade; and he was hooked!
Chance’s dad was a Division 1 wrestler in college and his sister is currently a Division 1 soccer player. He soon realized that this is a family thing and he wanted to be a part of it. Since then, he has become fully immersed in his goal to be the best lacrosse player he can be.
“I couldn’t sit on the couch anyway and play video games. After the last season game there is about a week where there is no routine—I feel like I need to fill the time.” –Chance Beutler
In 2015, Chance had his proudest achievement to date when he went to the Boston Showcase at Endicott College. He played very well, despite being placed on a team with unfamiliar teammates and being unsure of his playing level as compared to East Coast players. In fact, he made the All Star team and caught the eye of some college coaches.
Chance’s parents own Mt. Bachelor Fitness Equipment, a fitness shop in Bend. He lifts weights six days a week and runs on the seventh. Practices are daily Monday through Saturday with ‘film’ on Sundays.
“I couldn’t sit on the couch anyway and play video games,” says Chance. “After the last season game there is about a week where there is no routine—I feel like I need to fill the time.”
Chance’s involvement in sports keeps him in line and out of trouble. He feels it helps him get good grades because of the routine. When not playing lacrosse, Chance can be found on the football and wrestling teams, working at the lacrosse store and coaching seventh and eighth grade lacrosse and first through fourth grade wrestling.
Chance is looking forward to working toward the championship level in a Division 2 or 3 school and then transferring to a Division 1 school. Then, he feels his work ethic might make him a perfect Army Ranger or Navy Seal. And, there’s always Team USA Lacrosse.
Alex Pitcher is on his way. The Mountain View High School 2016 graduate is headed to play Division 1 water polo at La Salle University in Philadelphia in the Fall—on a full-ride scholarship. And he’s only been at it for a little under four years.
“The mindset going to practice and before games is so important. [You] have to get in a positive attitude before practice. Before games, I envision each quarter and how I’ll play.” –Alex Pitcher
Alex began his career with a bang as part of 2013’s state championship team. But then, in 2014, the team lost all seven of their starting players. While they made it to state with Alex as a new starter, they failed to repeat their success. During the off-season, he trained, practiced, and grew. In 2015, Mountain View won the state championship again and Alex was named the 2015 5A Oregon MVP.
During the season, he practices twice a day for two hours each session, 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mornings are for game play, evenings for conditioning.
“The mindset going to practice and before games is so important,” says Alex. “[You] have to get in a positive attitude before practice. Before games, I envision each quarter and how I’ll play.”
While Alex is a very polite young man with a calm presence and easy conversational style, it is evident that drive and discipline are ever-ready in the toolbox. He considers his mental toughness to be a differentiator he can use in his favor in competition. Alex also enjoys golfing, surfing and tennis, as well as being involved in his church’s youth group.
For now, Alex is concentrating on becoming an All American water polo athlete in college.