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October 22, 2018
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Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site Scrappers Steal Win Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ New interim superintendent Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park Cotati approves tree lighting Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming Seawolves serve up a victory 3.0 quake shakes Rohnert Park Cardinals rout Cougars Fire storm anniversary Arrests and charges target Apple stores It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP Lowerys help with campaign Cotati residents decry lack of enforcement Spreckels and Alchemia connects community RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Another tough break for roller derby RP fireworks to be added to agenda Busy night for RP City Council Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program The biggest little parade in the U.S.A. celebrates the 4th It’s not quite tennis, nor is it pickle ball, but rather something in between. SweetPea celebrates 31 years Football in full swing, 3rd win Cotati votes opposition to oil leases 3.0 quake shakes RP Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open 98 cited in traffic enforcement program RP Public Safety report card Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Enjoying ribs A seed of thought grows into a peace garden: Burton garden completed RP residents provide input in police chief search Imitating major leaguers A taste of nostalgia – Penngrove’s Power Up! Event RP’s new interim police chief Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Police officers inspect inside of car Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years Kid’s Day Parade celebrates our hometown heroes March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Kids and firefighters compete in RP Cougars slay Dragons Rohnert Park Bike & Pedestrian Committee adds new member How to help victims of wildfires Plan approved for Station Ave. park Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery New principals 2018-2019 SMART celebrates a year of service Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Office of Civil Rights agreement closes investigation of special ed complaint Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Supply giveaways lend a hand to families RP to host community forum for public safety director search Search still on for A&L Market robbery suspect A unique university for dogs: Bergin University makes Hatchery and Green Mill buildings its new home RP waits to make update to emergency alert system SSU names new police chief International students continue to flock to SSU’s Language Institute RP Health Center celebrates anniversary

RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete

  • Rohnert Park Kayaker, Petri Alva

By: David Rheinhart
October 5, 2018

Most kids at 14 aren’t focused on their future, but then most kids aren’t nationally recognized athletes. 

But Petri Nicholas Alva is the exception. He’s a kayaker from here in Rohnert Park and in August he competed and won eight medals at the ACA Sprint Kayaking National Championship in Oklahoma City. That’s quite an accomplishment for a boy that just entered high school. 

“It’s kind of surreal honestly. It’s not what we had intended,” said Tanya Boone-Alva, Petri’s mother. “I had no idea that he would end up on a racing team and that he would be this driven. I mean, goodness gracious. He’s only 14 and already the fastest kid in the nation at the 200’s. That’s...that’s pretty cool.”

Pretty cool is right, especially considering that neither Petri nor his mother set out to enter the sport. It happened by accident when Petri’s brother, Zachary Alva, asked his mother if it was ok to take the then 11 year old Petri out kayaking. Boone-Alva was understandably nervous about letting her children out onto the water, and so insisted they take a class.

“Three years ago my brother wanted to go out and try kayaking, so he went to this camp and brought me along,” said Petri. “Once he got into it he took off. I was like, ‘Oh wow, he’s going really fast! I want to go fast with him!”

After the first taste of kayaking, both Petri and Zachary were hooked. As the older of the two, Zachary was a role model for Petri and he encouraged his younger brother to delve deep into the sport. 

“We bounced off each other. I trained and then he trained more so I wouldn’t catch up. We have this little game going,” Petri said. “We were pretty close before, but now we’re a lot closer. He’s faster than me but we can still train together.”

That kind of encouragement and competition is important for the development of any growing child and for an athlete it’s doubly so. With a sport like kayaking that requires such high degree of coordination, it’s best to form those connections while young, according to Biology of Sport. Athletes that begin training young have a higher predicted performance over athletes that begin training later in life. 

That’s important because Petri isn’t content with simply competing at the national level. 

“Next year I have a chance to make it on the Olympic Hopes team. The top athletes from across the country go on a small team and then they race somewhere in Europe. If I keep training at this rate I might be able to go.” Petri said. “That’s the ultimate goal for kayakers: to paddle in the Olympics. The last time a kayaker medaled in the U.S. was in the 1980’s. It’d be pretty amazing forty years later to go and win.”

Of course, no dream happens without support. Participating in national competitions, traveling to qualifying races, and even registering with the Olympic Hopes all takes money. If you’d like to help Petri realize his dream you can contact him at, petrinalva329@gmail.com.