By Ava Moyer
West Hills Press
West Hills MS
1st Place Division MS, News Writing
Personal Narrative

JUDGING CRITERIA

  • A first-person account depicting a personal experience
  • Lead captures attention, arouses curiosity
  • Topic relevant to interests and/or welfare of school or students
  • Effectively combines basics of good news and feature writing
  • Effectively organized with smooth transitions; carefully outlined
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar
  • Should have byline, which could include mug shot of writer

“Come on Ava,” my dad says as he shakes me awake. “Time for skating.” “Five more minutes?” I groan, rolling over in my bed. “Nope,” he says cheerfully, turning on my light. I lumber out of bed, almost falling off my ladder in the process. I groggily rub all the remaining sleep out of my eyes, and pull out a random skating shirt. I pull on a pair of leggings, and zombie-walk out my bedroom door. After I brush my teeth and hair, I slop a bowl of cereal down my throat. I get ready to go outside and head to the car. As I walk into the ice rink, I smell the stale stench of hockey players in the locker room. I survey the benches, looking for a spot to sit. I walk over to my friends Zoe and Katia, and I set my stuff down. I walk back out and gaze at the rink, my second home. I smile at the thought that I would soon be out there, landing every jump. I lace up my skates and head out onto the ice, stroking to warm up. I look up at the clock. 6:20. Good, I think. I’m not late. My whole lesson feels like a blur, salchows and sit spins and spirals, oh my! I run through my program, hoping for a clean skate every time. Eventually, I climb off the ice, exhausted. I collapse in the car and head off to school. After weeks and weeks of lessons, off-ice, running, stretching and more, the big day is finally here. My first competition! I slip into my dress, white that slowly fades into yellow, yellow and silver rhinestones, a flower at the waist, ending in yellow waves cascading almost to my knees. I lace up my skates as my mom pulls and tugs at my hair. “Mom,” I said. “It’s fine.” She looks down at me and smiles. “You’re going to do great,” she says. I returned the smile and head out of the locker room. It feels like I’ve been waiting for hours, when the announcer says the words I’ve been waiting to hear. “Next on the ice is Ava Moyer!” I scamper over to the boards and hand my jacket to my coach. “You got this,” she tells me. I nod and stroke into my starting position. The music begins, and I start my routine. Each arm movement, jump and spin, was choreographed by my coach and me during hours of practice. I leap and turn to the music, thinking through every move. The song ends, and everyone claps. I head off the ice, anxious for my results. About an hour later we all sat on the bleachers waiting for the judge to call our name. My thoughts were drifting, but I was snapped back to earth as the judge called, “In second place, Ava Moyer!” Everybody clapped their hands as I got up to receive my medal. I stepped onto the podium and smiled for pictures. After I was done I ran over to greet my family and coach. They smothered me with hugs and compliments, telling me what a good job I did. Afterwards, we all went out for waffles. We pulled up to the rink for my Saturday morning practice. My best friend, Hadley, greeted me at the door. “I have great news,” she said excitedly. “Nationals are in Detroit this year!” “Really?” I asked. “Yes! Bradie Tennell is competing.” Hadley replied. We continue to chat as we head on to the ice. We go through are moves in the field, jumps, and spins. Hadley is almost ready to test her moves in the field. She does her edges and spirals. We work on our waltz-8, a complicated set of edges and turns. When we’ve gone through everything, and have free time, we choreograph our own program. Before we know it, practice is over. We tell each other goodbye, and head home. * * * “I win!” Owen yells. “No, you don’t!” Shaan says. “I ordered chocolate cake!” Jake yells completely interrupting the conversation. Ping! His toy computer bleeps. “Settle down,” Mom says. “Nobody wins just yet.” Then, she pulls me to the side “Ava, I have some great news,” she says. “What is it?” I ask. “You’ve been selected to perform in the closing ceremonies at Nationals.” she tells me. “Hadley will be there, too!” I scream and start to jump up and down. Everybody turns to look at me, and I tell them the big news. Nationals are a huge skating competition before the Olympics. Famous skaters such as Nathan Chen and Bradie Tennell will be competing. There are two ceremonies, an opening and closing, and I got picked to perform in the closing. I was so excited, I felt as though I could do a triple axel on the spot. “Bye!” I called to my neighbors. “Bye, bye!” Jake’s two-year-old voice rings out. I head home from game night with my spirits high. * * * “Rule No. 1: Do not talk while I am talking,” the coach says. She is very loud, and I can assume she will be very strict. “I want you to number off from one to eight. Then I want all of your number to form a group.” We carry out her instructions and, believe it or not, one of my group members is also named Ava. I am also working with Sophie and Madison. We get to know each other, and realize we have a lot in common. Soon, our first practice was over and we all headed home. * * * Oh. My. Goodness. It’s finally time. Nationals are today! I eat a huge breakfast, grab my stuff, and head to the car. We drive for about an hour, and pull up at the Little Caesars Arena. It is jam packed, and people of all ages are milling around the parking lot. We squeeze through the door, and navigate through the crowd to find our seats. We climb up the stairs to the suite with coach Jess and coach Michael. The view is amazing, the multi-colored lights flashing on the ice. The announcer’s voice booms over the loudspeaker, announcing the start of the men’s free skate program. The programs fly by, until the last flight steps on to the ice. Nathan Chen is finally here.