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Daelen Inspiration to Peers

Audrey Hancock

Audrey Hancock

Micahrae Osteria, Sports Editor

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By Micahrae Osteria

Sports Editor

   Being a triathlete requires three things out of you: determination, passion, and the urge to always improve your skills. Senior Kees Van Daelen has all of that in the bag, and much more. Not only is he a triathlete, but he’s also a great friend, a resilient captain, and an encouraging team member.

   Van Daelen plays football, basketball, and lacrosse, all for UC High. He does exceptionally well in all three sports and is captain for one of them, football. His motivation for staying committed to these sports comes from his pure love for doing what he does. “I just love the games. I play so much that I don’t need much motivation, because I love doing it,” said Van Daelen.

   He first began getting into sports at a young age, which would benefit him exponentially as he grew up. “I began playing sports because as a kid I always wanted to go outside and do something. I decided to sign up for any sport I could,” he said. His family was also right there beside him. “When I was younger, my family would always take me to practices and games. Nowadays, they give me the freedom to train on my own and they support me during games by coming to watch,” he said.

   Although he may have had all the time in the world as a child, it becomes much harder to find the perfect balance between playing sports and keeping up with school. “It’s hard to balance, but I usually just finish my homework after practice. This leads to some short nights of sleep, but it’s all worth it because I love playing the games,” said Van Daelen.

   Van Daelen definitely has grown through his love for sports, and it’s apparent in the way that he holds himself and the teams that he plays with. “His leadership, his calmness, and his work ethic make him a good captain. He doesn’t ask anyone to do differently from what he asks from himself,” said Varsity Basketball Coach Terry Stonebreaker. Van Daelen has learned many lessons through his involvement in sports. “It teaches an individual a lot about teamwork, hard work, and dedication to a certain subject. It teaches one to never give up and always fight through adversity,” he said. “He is very calm and collective. He’s super humble and no matter how good he does, he won’t tell you how good he does,” said Sophomore Casey Granfors.

   His commitment to being a triathlete is from his genuine appreciation for the games and all that comes with it. “He’s a good triathlete and he’s able to give you all he has,” said Stonebreaker.

   As with anyone who is an athlete, Van Daelen has his fair share of  favorite memories. “My favorite memory was in my junior year when I lead the team to a fourth-quarter comeback victory over our tough opponent Bishops High. This was after the starting quarterback got injured and I had to fill-in,” he said.   

   As Van Daelen transitions from UC High to San Diego State University, he has a number of decisions to make. Besides deciding what he wanted to major in, which is mechanical engineering, he also had to decide whether or not he will be participating in collegiate sports. “I won’t be playing officially in college, but I will be doing a lot of clubs and hopefully intramural sports,” he said.

   Despite this change in his active lifestyle, Van Daelen will still be an inspirational triathlete as he leaves UC High with fun memories and sentimental life lessons. In his own words, “Being a triathlete is always playing a sport or working out to become better at a certain sport. This also means not taking too many breaks throughout the year.” The determination to always improve and never stop is evident in Van Daelens’ mindset, and it’s clear that this will follow him into college.

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Daelen Inspiration to Peers